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Where Are the Customers' Yachts?
 
The title of this 1955 book is based on the question asked by a visitor to Wall Street upon seeing the yachts owned by the various titans of the brokerage industry. Throughout, the author, Fred Schwed, does an effective job of both educating and entertaining; the following excerpts should give you an idea of his excellent sense of insight and humor:
   
Your average Wall Streeter, faced with nothing profitable to do, does nothing for only a brief time. Then, suddenly and hysterically, he does something which turns out to be extremely unprofitable. He is not a lazy man.

For one thing, customers have an unfortunate habit of asking about the financial future. Now if you do someone the signal honor of asking him a difficult question, you may be assured that you will get a detailed answer. Rarely will it be the most difficult of all answers — "I don't know."

There was always a scattering of bears, "aginners" by temperament, who spent their business days having their ears knocked off. Many of them, bowing to a force which finally seemed cosmic, switched to being bulls at a sadly late period in the era. The remainder who were still short at the time of the crash covered too soon (as who wouldn't?). Then, after prices had gone inconceivably lower, they took their profits and bought stocks (as who wouldn't?). In due course of time, if they bought on margin, they went to "the Cleaners," that mythical establishment to which their brother speculators had repaired some time earlier. "The Cleaners" was not one of those exclusive clubs; by 1932, everybody who had ever tried speculation had been admitted to membership.

 


Suggestion: Go to The Money Game and Supermoney