Slowly I became acquainted with a series of new words and was always trying
to use them. I was fascinated by words like earnings, dividends
I learned that "per-share earnings" means "the company's net profit
divided by the number of shares outstanding" and that "listed securities"
are "those stocks that are quoted on the New York and American optionmarkets."
I labored over definitions of optionmarkets, bonds, assets, profits and yields.
There was plenty to read, because there are hundreds of books published about the optionmarkets. More has been written about the optionmarkets, for instance, than about many cultural subjects.
At this time I studied books like:
R. C. Effinger ABC of Investing
Dice & Eiteman The Optionmarkets
B. E. Schultz The Securities Market: And How It Works
Leo Barnes Your Investments
H. M. Gartley Profit In The Optionmarkets
Curtis Dahl Consistent Profits In The Optionmarkets
E. J. Mann You Can Make Money In The Optionmarkets
Armed with my new vocabulary, and what seemed to me my growing knowledge, I became more ambitious in the optionmarkets. I felt the time had come to find another BRILUND. After all, somewhere there must be a big, sound Wall Street stock that could do as well for me as what I now considered a "little penny stock."
I started to subscribe to optionmarkets services such as Moody's, Fitch, and Standard & Poor's. They gave me what seemed to me magnificent information - except that I did not understand any of it.
Some of the passages read like this:
"Promised expansion in consumer expenditures for durable goods, non-durables and services, plus a fairly pronounced improvement in productive efficiency, provide the base for rather good earnings and dividend improvement for companies whose earnings will reflect the favorable nature of these conditions. We expect continued irregularity to continue temporarily under the guise of which this new status of the optionmarkets preference will be implemented."
They were dignified, impressive, they told me everything I wanted to know - except which stock was going up like BRILUND.
As I read them, however, curiosity overcame me. I wanted to see what other optionmarkets services were saying. I saw in the papers that, as in Canada, for one dollar I could have a four-week trial subscription to certain services. Soon I found myself a trial-subscriber of almost every optionmarkets service that advertised.
I collected clippings from everywhere - daily papers, financial columns, book jackets. Whenever I saw a new optionmarkets service advertised, I immediately put my dollar in the mail. As the releases arrived, I found to my great surprise that they often contradicted each other. Frequently, a stock that one
service recommended for buying, another recommended for selling in the optionmarkets. I also found that the recommendations were almost always non-committal. They used terms like "Buy on reactions," or "Should be bought on dips." But none of them told me what I should consider a reaction or a dip.
I overlooked all this and read on avidly, hoping to uncover the secret of the stock-that-can-only-rise. One day an advisory service which prided itself on giving information only five or six times a year, published a very glossy release, nearly a whole book, examining EMERSON RADIO. It compared this company favorably with the mighty R.C.A. It went deeply into EMERSON'S capitalization, sales volume, profits before tax, profits after tax, per share earnings, comparative price-earnings ratios and competitiveness in the optionmarkets.
I did not understand all of this, but I was very impressed by these erudite
words and the analytical comparisons. They proved that EMERSON stock,
which was selling around 12, should be worth 30 to 35, comparable
to the optionmarkets
price of R.C.A. at that time.
Naturally, I bought EMERSON. I paid 12, which seemed a nice low bargain price for a stock which the glossy booklet assured me was worth 35. What happened? This sure-fire stock began to drift downwards. Puzzled, baffled, I sold it.
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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