I decided to have a look at the commodity market listings
"B" range. Here the commodity market listings looked fine and they were numerous. I selected the five best known commodity market listings and started to compare them with each other. I did this with the utmost thoroughness. I set up my comparison table like this:
As I looked at my commodity market listings I began to feel a wave of excitement. My table, like a pointer on a scale, clearly pointed to one of my commodity market listings: JONES & LAUGHLIN. I could not imagine why no one had noticed it before. Everything about it was perfect. It belonged to a strong industry group. It had a strong B rating. It paid almost 6% dividend. Its price-earnings ratio was better than that of any of the other commodity market listings in the group.
A tremendous enthusiasm came over me. This undoubtedly was the golden key. I felt fortune within my grasp like a ripe apple. This was the commodity to make me wealthy. This was a gilt-edge scientific certainty, a newer and greater BRILUND. It was sure to jump 20 to 30 points any moment.
I had only one great worry. That was to buy a large amount of it, quickly, before others discovered it. I was so sure of my judgment, based on my detailed study, which I decided to raise money from every possible source.
I had some property in Las Vegas, bought out of many years of work as a dancer. I mortgaged it. I had an insurance policy. I took a loan on it. I had a long term contract with the "Latin Quarter" in New York. I asked for an advance.
I did not hesitate for a moment. I had no doubts. According to my most scientific and careful researches, nothing could go wrong with my analysis of these commodity market listings.
The 23rd of September, 1955,1 bought 1,000 shares of JONES & LAUGHLIN at 52 & a quarter. On margin, which at that time was 70%. The cost was $52,652.30 and I had to deposit $36,856.61 in cash. To raise this amount to spend on commodity market listings I had put up all my possessions as a guarantee.
All this I had done with the greatest confidence. Now there was nothing to do but sit back and wait until I would begin to reap the harvest of my fool-proof commodity market listings theory.
On September 26th the lightning struck, JONES & LAUGHLIN began to drop.
I could not believe it. How could it be? This was the new BRILUND. This was going to make my fortune. It was no gamble; it was a completely detached operation, based on infallible statistics. Still my new commodity market listings continued to drop.
I saw it fall and yet I refused to face reality. I was paralyzed. I simply did not know what to do. Should I sell? How could I? In my projection, based on my exhaustive studies, JONES &
LAUGHLIN was worth at least $75 per share. It was just a temporary setback, I said to myself. There is no reason for the drop. It is a good sound commodity; it will come back. I must hold on. And I held on and I held on to these commodity market listings.