Michel Pireu Columnist
Street Dog .

Extracts from Tape Reading and Market Tactics by Humphrey B Neill, published in 1931:

It is utterly useless for us on the outside that buy and sell comparatively small blocks of stocks, to conjecture upon what "they" are doing. We cannot know what the insiders intend to do, but we can see their orders on the tape when they execute them. That is why my plea is for every one of us to have no mere opinions of his own, but to allow the action of the market to tell him what is passing.

…if you cannot lose cheerfully, do not trade in the market! It is no business for the person who is easily discouraged. Countless losses must be accepted: the problem is to limit the losses. No one may ever hope to become so expert that he never takes a loss.

…do not plunge or become over-extended. This is worn-out advice, I know, but margin and capital worries warp your judgement. There is no disgrace in being a small trader, and the market will remain open for business for a good many years to come.

…we must attune our powers of perception to the period ahead, and not everlastingly compare every factor with some occurrence in the recent past. New conditions will arise. A new trading public will be born. However, the old cycle of rallies and corrections will roll on. We shall have "over-bulled" movements and disastrous crashes. And the uninformed public will buy when security prices are high and sell when they are low.

…one last request. If you are not willing to study, if you are not sufficiently interested to investigate and analyse the stock market yourself, then I beg you to become an outright long-pull investor, to buy good stocks, and to hold on to them; for your chances of success as a trader will be nil.