Nicolas Darvas on Avoiding Wall Street Noise

by Darrin Donnelly on September 14, 2010

Nicolas Darvas sipping a beer while searching for stocks in 1959.

Nicolas Darvas sipping a beer while searching for stocks in 1959.

In Nicolas Darvas’ second book, Wall Street: The Other Las Vegas, he wrote the following excerpt.  This was written in 1964 and it remains some of the best advice a trend trader can listen to:

“There are traders who live with a telephone in their hand, and at one point in my career this was my situation.

“I was calling my broker literally every fifteen minutes to ask, ‘How’s Lorillard?  How’s Polaroid?’

“People with nothing else to do, and a passion for gambling, sit all day in the board rooms of big brokerage houses, watching the ticker, reading news bulletins which may or may not have some effect on the hour-to-hour market, and exchanging rumors.

“I found that, for myself, proximity to Wall Street was fatal.  I was too easily swayed by the minor fluctuations of the market, the talk about impending mergers, acquisitions, splits; I could never stick to any sort of system while under such influences.

“Rather, it was during my absences from New York, and especially during the two years of a tour that took me around the world, when I found myself operating most profitably.”

– Nicolas Darvas, 1964

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