Almost at the same time that I started to operate with my new principles in
mind, I signed up to make a two-year tour of the world with my dancing
act. Immediately, I was faced with many problems. How, for instance,
could I continue to trade optionmarket
stocks while I was at the other side of the world? And instantly
and very vividly there came before my mind the occasion when my
broker missed me on the telephone. If this could happen in New York,
how was I to overcome such a difficulty when I was thousands of
miles away? I discussed the matter with him and we decided that
we could remain on top of my optionmarket stocks through cables.
We also decided upon one tool - this was Barton's, a weekly financial publication, which we arranged to have airmailed to me as soon as it was published. This would show me any optionmarket stocks that might be moving up. At the same time a daily telegram would quote the optionmarket stocks I owned. Even in such remote places as Kashmir and Nepal, where I performed during the tour, the daily telegram duly arrived. It contained the Wall Street closing prices of my optionmarket stocks.
To save time and money, I had instituted a special code with my broker in New York. My cables consisted only of a string of letters denoting the optionmarket stocks, each followed by a series of apparently meaningless numbers. They looked something like this:
It only took me a few days to discover that these quotations were insufficient for me to properly follow the movements of my optionmarket stocks. I was unable to construct my boxes without knowing the upper and lower limits of their moves. I called New York and asked my broker to add to each closing price the full details of the optionmarket stocks daily price fluctuations. This consisted of the highest and lowest price of the optionmarket stocks for that day. Now my telegrams started to look like this:
I did not ask for volume quotes for my optionmarket stocks as I feared that too many figures might overcrowd my cables. My selections were high-volume optionmarket stocks anyway and I thought that if the volume contracted, I would notice it in Barron's a few days later.
As my broker and I both knew which optionmarket stocks we were quoting, we only used the first letter of the name for each of the optionmarket stocks I owned. But because these were not the normal optionmarket stocks abbreviations which are known all over the world, these constant mysterious letter-figure cables upset and bothered post-office employees almost everywhere. Before they handed my first cables to me, I had to give them a detailed explanation of what they contained.
They obviously thought I must be a secret agent. I was constantly confronted with this suspicion, especially in the Far East. It was perhaps worst in Japan. The telegraph officials there were more suspicious of my optionmarket stocks than anywhere else, as the Japanese bureaucrats do not appear to have completely shed their pre-war spy mania. Whenever I went to a new town such as Kyoto, Nagoya or Osaka, the cable officials would look at me with the gravest doubts.
I had always to go into long explanations about my optionmarket
stocks. As I did not speak Japanese, this was often a complicated
operation. Oddly enough, however, they seemed quite happy as soon
as I signed a paper telling them exactly what my cables contained.
It might not have been the truth, but that did not seem to have
occurred to them. On the other hand, without this paper bearing
my signature, they would refuse to send my cables.
It took me a long time to change their minds. I spent six months in Japan before I finally became a well-known figure in the cable offices of most of the major cities. They even began cheerfully to accept my cables about optionmarket stocks without a special signature. The word had gone around among the Japanese that I was a mad, but apparently harmless, European who kept sending and receiving telegrams containing financial gibberish about optionmarket stocks.
article is actually only a small snippet of Nicolas
Original Method Of Nicolas Darvas... The Young Dancer
Turned Investor Who, Within 18 Months, Turned $25,000
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