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The key points of 'How I Made $2,000,000 in the Stock Market' by Nicolas Darvas

Nicolas Darvas' book 'How I Made $2,000,000 in the Stock Market' provides valuable insights into his successful stock market strategy. By sharing his experiences and techniques, Darvas offers a unique perspective on navigating the complexities of the stock market.

Key Takeaways

  • Identifying Promising Stocks

  • Implementing the Box Theory

  • Managing Risk and Losses

  • Discipline and Patience

  • Emotional Control in Trading

Nicolas Darvas' Stock Market Strategy

Identifying Promising Stocks

Nicolas Darvas developed a methodical approach to identifying stocks with the potential for significant growth. He focused on stocks that were already displaying a strong upward trend, suggesting a robust demand and positive market sentiment. Darvas looked for stocks hitting new highs as an indicator of their strength.

To systematically pinpoint these opportunities, Darvas used a set of criteria:

  • High volume of shares being traded

  • A rising price trend over recent weeks

  • Strong industry fundamentals

Timing was crucial in Darvas' strategy. He believed that buying at the right moment was as important as selecting the right stock. This approach required patience and a keen eye for market trends, ensuring that investments were made not just on the basis of past performance, but on a well-founded anticipation of future gains.

Implementing the Box Theory

Nicolas Darvas' Box Theory is a cornerstone of his stock market strategy, focusing on the price movements of stocks within a defined range. The theory posits that a stock's price moves in predictable patterns, which can be capitalized on by identifying these 'boxes'.

  • Identify the trading range where the stock stabilizes.

  • Wait for the stock to break out of this range before buying.

  • Sell the stock when it falls back into the box or fails to reach a new high.

It's important to note that while the Box Theory can be effective, it requires diligent monitoring of stock performance and market trends. As the American Institute Of Parliamentarians website suggests, continuous education, such as reading business books and subscribing to newsletters, is crucial for staying updated and refining one's trading strategy.

Managing Risk and Losses

Nicolas Darvas emphasized the importance of managing risk to protect one's capital. He believed that losses should be cut quickly to prevent them from spiraling out of control. Darvas used stop-loss orders to automatically sell a stock when it fell to a certain price, limiting his potential losses.

Position sizing was another critical aspect of Darvas' strategy. He never allocated too much capital to a single investment, thereby avoiding catastrophic losses if a single stock performed poorly. Below is a simplified example of how Darvas might have allocated his portfolio:

Darvas also recognized the importance of not becoming emotionally attached to any investment. He treated stock trading as a business and made decisions based on logic and research rather than hope or fear.

Key Lessons from Darvas' Success

Discipline and Patience

In the journey to amassing $2,000,000 in the stock market, Nicolas Darvas placed a significant emphasis on the virtues of discipline and patience. These qualities are not just beneficial but essential for traders who wish to replicate his success. Discipline ensures that one adheres to a predetermined trading plan, resisting the temptation to make impulsive decisions based on market noise or emotions.

Patience is equally critical, as it allows traders to wait for the right opportunities rather than chasing after every potential stock movement. Darvas' approach required patience in both the selection of stocks and the timing of trades. He understood that not every stock would fit his criteria immediately, and sometimes the best action is no action at all.

To illustrate the importance of these traits, consider the following points:

  • Discipline helps maintain focus on long-term goals, avoiding short-term distractions.

  • Patience allows for the development of a stock's potential, rather than prematurely exiting a position.

  • Together, discipline and patience contribute to a mindset that is less reactive and more strategic.

Continuous Learning and Adaptation

Nicolas Darvas' journey to earning $2,000,000 in the stock market was not just a testament to his strategy but also to his commitment to continuous learning and adaptation. Darvas understood that the stock market was an ever-changing entity, and that staying successful required an ongoing effort to learn and adjust his methods.

Adaptation was key in Darvas' approach. He did not stick rigidly to a single strategy when market conditions changed. Instead, he evolved his tactics, always seeking to improve and refine his box theory and other techniques. This mindset is crucial for any investor looking to replicate his success.

  • Stay informed about market trends

  • Analyze past trades for lessons

  • Adjust strategies as needed

Emotional Control in Trading

Mastering emotional control is pivotal to replicating Darvas' success in the stock market. Traders must learn to detach from the highs and lows that come with market fluctuations to make rational decisions.

  • Recognize the impact of emotions on trading decisions

  • Develop a systematic approach to buying and selling

  • Avoid the pitfalls of overconfidence and fear

By adhering to a disciplined trading strategy, investors can minimize the influence of emotions and maintain a clear focus on their investment goals.


In conclusion, 'How I Made $2,000,000 in the Stock Market' by Nicolas Darvas provides valuable insights and strategies for successful stock trading. Darvas's story of turning a small investment into a substantial fortune is inspiring and offers practical lessons for investors. By following Darvas's principles of discipline, patience, and continuous learning, readers can enhance their own trading skills and increase their chances of success in the stock market. This book serves as a timeless guide for anyone looking to achieve financial success through stock trading.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Box Theory in Nicolas Darvas' stock market strategy?

The Box Theory is a method used by Nicolas Darvas to identify trading opportunities based on price movements within a defined range or 'box.'

How important is discipline in implementing Darvas' stock market strategy?

Discipline is crucial in following the rules and guidelines set by Darvas to avoid emotional trading and stick to the strategy.

What are some key elements of Darvas' strategy for identifying promising stocks?

Darvas focused on stocks with strong price momentum, increasing volume, and breaking out of consolidation patterns.

How did Darvas manage risk and losses in his stock market approach?

Darvas used stop-loss orders to limit potential losses and protect his capital in case a trade went against him.

Why is emotional control important in trading, according to Darvas?

Emotional control helps traders avoid impulsive decisions driven by fear or greed, allowing them to make rational choices based on their strategy.

How did Darvas emphasize continuous learning and adaptation in his stock market journey?

Darvas believed in constantly improving his trading skills, staying informed about market trends, and adapting his strategy to changing market conditions.

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