Jesse Livermore Net Worth | Celebrity Net Worth


What was Jesse Livermore’s Net Worth?

Jesse Livermore was an American stock trader who had peak net worth of $100 million in 1929. That’s the same as around $2 billion in today’s dollars. Most impressively, he earned that fortune trading his own money. He did not manage another person’s wealth and did not work for a large firm. Although he was for a time among the richest people in the world, Livermore had liabilities greater than his assets when he died by suicide in 1940.

Jesse Livermore helped pioneer day trading and financial technical analysis. He engaged in lucrative market manipulation before the advent of the SEC. Some of his trades remain legendary, such as the short positions he took ahead of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the 1929 Wall Street Crash.

Adult film star Brandi Love is Jesse’s great-granddaughter. Brandi’s birth name is Tracey Lynn Livermore.

Early Life

Jesse Livermore was born on July 26, 1877 in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts into an impoverished family. He mostly grew up in Acton. When Livermore was 14, his father pulled him out of school to help on the farm; however, with the blessing of his mother, he ran away from home instead.

Career Beginnings

Having run away from home at the age of 14, Livermore got a job as a board boy posting stock quotes at a Boston branch of the stock brokerage firm PaineWebber. A couple years later, he began trading at the bucket shops in Boston, where he was nicknamed “The Boy Plunger.” Not long after that, Livermore quit his job at PaineWebber and started trading full-time. From 1895 to 1897, he amassed $10,000 in trading profits. Due to his consistent winning, he was banned from most of the bucket shops in the Boston area. The last bucket shop to still accommodate him was Haight & Freese, where he traded from 1898 to 1900. After that, Livermore moved to New York City and continued his successful trading. At Harris, Hutton & Company, he turned $10,000 to $50,000 in just five days. However, after going short on a trade in 1901 and losing his entire stake, he moved to St. Louis and went back to betting at bucket shops.

Rise to Wealth

Livermore had his first major trading win in 1901 when he purchased Northern Pacific Railway stock and turned $10,000 into $500,000. One of his most legendary trades came in 1906 when, while vacationing in Palm Beach, Florida, he took a huge short position in Union Pacific Railroad just one day before the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. This resulted in a $250,000 profit. Livermore continued taking massive short positions during the Panic of 1907, earning him $1 million in a single day. After he stopped short-selling at the request of his mentor, J. P. Morgan, Livermore profited from the subsequent economic rebound. With his extraordinary wealth, he made lavish purchases, including a rail car, a $200,000 yacht, and an apartment on the Upper West Side. Livermore also joined exclusive clubs and had a number of mistresses.

First Bankruptcies and Rebound

Livermore went bankrupt for the first time in 1908 when he heeded the advice of cotton trader Teddy Price to buy cotton, which Price was secretly selling. Ultimately, he was able to recover all of his losses. Livermore would file for bankruptcy again in 1915. However, a couple years later, he covertly cornered the market in cotton. This was eventually discovered by President Woodrow Wilson, who agreed to have Livermore sell back the cotton at break-even. Livermore engaged in more chicanery in the mid-1920s when he manipulated the market to make $10 million trading wheat and corn in a battle with Arthur W. Cutten. Additionally, he orchestrated a short squeeze on the stock of Piggly Wiggly.

The Great Bear of Wall Street

In early 1929, Livermore took huge short positions and employed over 100 stockbrokers to conceal his activity. Although he was down over $6 million on paper by the spring, he amassed around $100 million upon the Wall Street Crash. Newspapers dubbed Livermore “The Great Bear of Wall Street” and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” causing the public to blame him for the crash and send him death threats.

Jesse is pictured below with his third wife, Harriet Metz Noble at the Stork Club in New York City, November 27, 1940. Less than 24 hours after this photo was taken, Livermore committed suicide at the Sherry Netherland Hotel in Manhattan.

(Photo by Pictorial Parade/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

Late Career and Final Bankruptcy

In 1934, the advent of the US Securities and Exchange Commission imposed severe restrictions on Livermore’s trading tactics. Eventually, he lost his fortune and filed for bankruptcy, with his $2.5 million in debts far outweighing his $84,000 in listed assets. Meanwhile, Livermore was suspended as a member of the Chicago Board of Trade. In 1939, a year before his death, he opened a financial advisory business and sold a technical analysis system.

Personal Life and Death

Livermore was married a total of three times. He was married to his first wife, Nettie Jordan, from 1900 until their divorce in 1917. However, they had separated prior to that after Livermore asked Jordan to pawn the jewelry collection he had bought her so he could rebound from debt. In 1918, Livermore wed former Ziegfeld girl Dorothy Wendt, who was nearly half his age. They had two sons together: Jesse II and Paul. The marriage deteriorated over time due to Livermore’s affairs with other Ziegfeld girls and Wendt’s drinking habits, among other factors, leading to divorce in 1932. Wendt took custody of the couple’s sons, received a $10 million settlement, and sold the mansion Livermore had purchased in Great Neck at a loss. In 1933, Livermore married his third wife, singer and socialite Harriet Metz Noble. He was Metz Noble’s fifth husband.

On November 28, 1940 – Thanksgiving day – Livermore fatally shot himself in the cloakroom of Manhattan’s Sherry-Netherland hotel. Police recovered a suicide note in his personal notebook addressed to his wife, reading: “My dear Nina: Can’t help it. Things have been bad with me. I am tired of fighting. Can’t carry on any longer. This is the only way out. I am unworthy of your love. I am a failure. I am truly sorry, but this is the only way out for me. Love Laurie.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.

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