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Where Are the Customers' Yachts? or A Good Hard Look at Wall Street : A Marketplace Book - Fred Schwed Jr.

Where Are the Customers' Yachts? or A Good Hard Look at Wall Street

A Marketplace Book

Hardcover Published: 2nd March 1995
ISBN: 9780471119791
Number Of Pages: 256

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"Once I picked it up I did not put it down until I finished ...What Schwed has done is capture fullyin deceptively clean languagethe lunacy at the heart of the investment business. "From the Foreword by Michael Lewis, Bestselling author of Liar's Poker This hilarious portrait of everyday Wall Street and its denizens rings as true today as it did when it was first published in 1940. Writing with a rare mixture of wry cynicism and bonhomie reminiscent of Mark Twain and H. L. Mencken, Fred Schwed, Jr. , skewers everyone including himself in his brilliant send-ups of bankers, brokers, traders, investors, analysts, and hapless customers. Critical Praise ..."How great to have a reissue of a hilarious classic that proves the more things change the more they stay the same. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent. "Michael Bloomberg, President, Bloomberg, LP " ...one of the funniest books ever written about Wall Street. "Jane Bryant Quinn, The Washington Post "It's amazing how well Schwed's book is holding up after 55 years. About the only thing that's changed on Wall Street is that computers have replaced pencils and graph paper. Otherwise, the basics are the same. The investor's need to believe somebody is matched by the financial advisor's need to make a nice living. If one of them has to be disappointed, it's bound to be the former. "John Rothchild, Author, A Fool and His Money Financial Columnist, Time magazine "Where Are the C-C-Customers' Yachts is a g-g-great read. "Charles Ellis, Managing Partner, Greenwich Associates "A delightful classic and reminder of excesses past and how little things change. "Bob Farrell, Senior Vice President, Merrill Lynch Where Are the Customers' Yachts? "'Wall Street,' reads the sinister old gag, 'is a street with a river at one end and a graveyard at the other. ' This is striking, but incomplete. It omits the kindergarten in the middle, and that's what this book is about. " Fred Schwed, Jr. Written by Fred Schwed, Jr. , a professional trader who had the good sense to get out after losing a bundle in the crash of 1929, this hilarious portrait of Wall Street and its denizens rings as true today as it did when it was first published in 1940. Writing with a rare mixture of wry cynicism and bonhomie reminiscent of Mark Twain and H. L. Mencken, Schwed skewers everyone including himself in his vivid depictions of the bankers, brokers, traders, investors, analysts, and hapless customers. Just listen to his take on the conservative banker: The conservative banker is an impressive specimen. In times of stress, when everybody needs money, he strives to avoid lending, but usually makes an exception to the United States government. Likewise, in prosperous times, he is a mighty liberal lender so liberal that years later unfriendly committees ask him what he thought he was thinking about, and he is unable to remember ...or his witty assessment of technical analysis: It is the popular feeling on Wall Street that chart readers are pretty occult professionals but that somehow most of them are broke. "If you have the bad taste to ask [one] how it happens that he is broke, he tells you quite ingenuously that he made the all too human error of not believing his own charts. " It's easy to see why, more than a half-century after it first appeared, Where Are the Customers' Yachts? continues to be hailed by market insiders as the funniest and most penetrating send-up of Wall Street ever penned.

Industry Reviews

"wonderful book" (Evening Standard, 24 August 2001)

Introduction xiii
Jason Zweig

Foreword to the 1995 Edition xxi
Michael Lewis

Introduction to the 1955 Bull Market Edition xxv

1 Introduction – “The Modest Cough of Minor Poet” 3

The Validity of Financial Predictions

The Passion for Prophecy

When the Bull jumped over the Moon

II Financiers and Seers 23

Big Banking – Nice work if you can get it

Some Assistant Tycoons

The Fruit on the Blossom of Thought

Wall Street Semantics

Chartists

The Pay

The Difficulties of “Earning” Money

An Art Without a Muse

A Little Aptitude Test

III Customers – That Hardy Breed 49

Varieties of Customers

How to Get Customers

Margin What to Do When the Dam Bursts

Some Case Histories and a Diagnosis

Churning Money as a Career

IV Investment Trusts – Promises and Performance 67

Stop Making Your Own Mistakes

Where is the Catch?

The Hell-Paving Construction Company

The Trouble with the “Best” Securities

The $750,000 Bird

By Way of Apology

The Magical Investment Corporation

V The Short Seller – He of the Black Heart 87

For the Defense

A Different Defense

With and Without Bears

Bear Raiding

VI Puts, Call, Straddles, and Gabble 105

What Options are (More or Less)

In Defense of the Pure Gamble

The Catch

VII The “Good” Old Days and the “Great” Captains 117

The I.Q. of a Big Shot

Speculation on Speculation

A Brief Excursion into Probabilities

Down will Come Baby

“They”

Manipulators

A Bowl of Nickels

VIII Investment – Many Questions and a Few Answers 135

Headaches of the Wealthy

A Little Wonderful Advice

Price and Value – Our Special Market Letter

Cash as a Long-Term Investment

Your Way of Life and the Basis Book

IX Reform – Some Yeas and Nays 153

Was it Stolen or Did you Lose It?

Nobody Loves a Specialist

Horizons and Limits of Regulation

Inconclusions

About the Author 171

ISBN: 9780471119791
ISBN-10: 0471119792
Series: A Marketplace Book
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 2nd March 1995
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.5 x 14.7  x 2.3
Weight (kg): 0.48
Edition Number: 1

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