finance

Success in stock speculation depends upon a few things that are very simple.

If you know what to buy, when to buy, and when to sell, and will act in accordance with that knowledge, your success is assured. You may think it is impossible to know these things, but it is not so difficult as it is supposed to be.

It is due to the fact that stock prices constantly move up or down that speculation is possible. Sometimes certain stocks remain almost at a standstill for a long period of time, but at least a part of the stocks listed on the Exchanges move either up or down. If one always could tell just what way they were going to move, it would be comparatively easy to make a fortune within a short time.

Stock prices move up and down in cycles. These are the major movements in prices, but there may be many minor movements up and down within the major movements. These stock price movements nearly always precede a change in business conditions; that is, an upward movement in stock prices is an indication that business conditions are going to improve, and a downward movement in stock prices is an indication that business conditions are going to get worse.

Perhaps no other one thing influences the movement of stock prices so much, in a large way, as money conditions. It is impossible to have a big bull market without plenty of money. During a bull market nearly all stocks are bought on margin, which is explained in Chapter XVI. This makes it necessary for brokers to borrow large sums of money. When money is tight, it is impossible to get enough to carry on a large movement in stocks.

Within the major movements of stock prices, there always are several minor movements, which are caused by various influences. One of the important causes is the technical condition of the market. Another cause might be called a psychological one. When stocks are moving up steadily in a bull market, people closely connected with the market expect a reaction and watch for it. The newspapers predict it. Consequently, there is sufficient let-up in buying to allow the pressure of selling by the bears to bring it about.

Technical conditions refer to the conditions that usually affect the supply and demand, such as short interests, floating supply, and stop loss orders.

It is sometimes said that supply and demand must be equal or else there could not be any sales, but that is not so. There are always some people who are willing to sell at some price above the market who will not sell at the market; and when the demand for stock is greater than the supply, it goes up until it is supplied by some of these people who are holding it at a higher price.

Stock prices are influenced largely by manipulation. Years ago when the volume of trading on the New York Stock Exchange was small compared with what it is today, it was possible to influence the entire market by manipulation, but it would be very difficult to do that today. It is only certain stocks that are manipulated; but if conditions are favorable, many other stocks may be influenced by them.

by J.J. Butler

Most people who trade in stocks buy on margin. The ordinary minimum margin is about 20% of the purchase price, because banks usually lend about 80% of the market value of stocks.

This book is written for the purpose of giving our clients some ideas of the fundamental principles that guide us when we select stocks for them to buy, but these principles are valuable to every person who trades in listed stocks or in any other kind of speculative stocks.

First of all, we want you to get a clear conception of the meaning of the word speculation, which is explained in the next chapter. Our purpose is to protect you against losses as well as to enable you to make profits, and it is very important that you understand how to provide for safety in your speculating.

Syndicate content