Lessons from Nicolas Darvas and His Book "How I Made $2 Million in the Stock Market"

Thu, Jun 20, 2024 8:13 AM on Featured, Stock Market, Exclusive,


Nicolas Darvas was a dancer turned stock market investor who became famous for his unique approach to trading. Born in Hungary in 1920, he later moved to the United States, where he initially pursued a career in dancing. His journey into the stock market was not something he planned from the start. Instead, it began as a way to invest some of his earnings from dancing.
In his book, "How I Made $2 Million in the Stock Market," Darvas shares his experiences and the strategies he developed to turn a $36,000 investment into more than $2.25 million in a three-year period. The book is an inspiring story of how an ordinary person, with no formal training in finance, managed to master the stock market through persistence, learning from mistakes, and developing a disciplined approach.

Key Lessons from Darvas' Book

1. The Box Theory:

One of the most significant concepts Darvas introduces in his book is the "Box Theory." He noticed that stocks tend to move within a certain price range, which he called a "box." When a stock's price breaks out of its box, either upwards or downwards, it indicates a potential trend. Darvas would buy stocks that broke out upwards from their boxes, believing they would continue to rise.

2. Importance of Techno-Fundamental Analysis:

Darvas relied heavily on technical analysis, which involves studying past market data, primarily price and volume, to predict future movements. He also filtered his stocks to keep an eye on by focusing on stocks with a high EPS and in a growing industry. He believed that understanding the patterns and behaviors of stocks poised to grow with high EPS would lead to higher gains than focusing on technical or fundamental analysis exclusively.

3. Discipline and Emotion Control:

A key takeaway from Darvas' journey is the importance of maintaining discipline and controlling emotions while trading. He emphasized setting strict stop-loss orders to limit potential losses and sticking to his trading plan without letting emotions like fear or greed take over.

4. Continuous Learning and Adaptation:

Darvas' success did not come overnight. He made numerous mistakes and faced several losses before developing his successful strategy. He constantly learned from his experiences and adapted his approach based on what he observed in the market.

5. Independent Thinking:

Darvas highlighted the importance of making independent decisions rather than following the crowd. He trusted his research and analysis over market rumors or tips from others. This independence helped him make objective decisions based on data rather than emotions or external influences.

Applying Darvas' Lessons to NEPSE

1. Using the Box Theory:

In NEPSE, traders can apply the Box Theory by identifying price ranges where stocks tend to move and waiting for a breakout. This method can help in spotting potential upward trends, enabling traders to buy at the right time.

2. Emphasizing Techno-Fundamental Analysis:

NEPSE traders can benefit from focusing on fundamental analysis to find growth stocks and technical analysis to understand stock price movements. By analyzing past price data and trading volumes, traders can make informed predictions about future trends, much like Darvas did.

3. Maintaining Discipline and Emotion Control:

Trading in NEPSE requires the same level of discipline and emotional control that Darvas advocated. Setting strict stop-loss orders and adhering to a trading plan are essential to avoid making impulsive decisions based on market fluctuations.

4. Continuous Learning and Adaptation:

The NEPSE market, like any other, is constantly evolving. Traders should be open to learning new strategies and adapting to changes in market conditions. This continuous learning mindset will help in staying ahead and making profitable trades.

5. Independent Thinking:

In NEPSE, independent thinking is crucial. Traders should rely on their analysis and avoid getting swayed by market rumors or tips. Making decisions based on solid research and objective data will lead to better trading outcomes.

Personal Reflections

Reading "How I Made $2 Million in the Stock Market" taught me several valuable lessons. Firstly, it reinforced the idea that success in the stock market requires a methodical and disciplined approach. Darvas' journey showed that even someone without a financial background could achieve remarkable success with the right strategies and mindset.

Secondly, the book emphasized the importance of continuous learning and adapting to new information. The stock market is dynamic, and what works at one time may not work later. Being open to learning and willing to adjust strategies is crucial for long-term success.

Lastly, the concept of the Box Theory and focusing on technical analysis provided me with practical tools to start my own journey in stock trading. Darvas' story is a testament to the power of perseverance and the potential for success when one is dedicated to mastering their craft.


Nicolas Darvas' book is not just a guide to stock trading but also a source of inspiration for anyone looking to achieve success through discipline, learning, and independent thinking. His journey from a dancer to a millionaire investor shows that with the right approach, anyone can excel in the stock market, including the Nepal Stock Exchange.

Article By: Mumukshu D.C