You are playing against odds when you speculate. The only woman who has a sure thing on the Board of Directors, Stock Exchange or the race track is the woman with the Wienerwurst privilege.
The successful business woman some day wakes up to the fact that her bills are paid, and that she has surplus money. This surplus money should be used for investment purposes and not for speculation. Of course, it is hard to draw the line where investment leaves off and speculation begins.
When you speculate on margins you are like the lady holding on a bear's tail as it runs around a tree. If you lose your hold the bear will get you. The woman who makes an investment, buying stocks or real estate and paying cash for them does not have to worry about the market. Prices may be up or down, but the woman who has paid for what she has bought will sleep well.
You can't beat the speculation game. The only ones who make a success, and their success is ephemeral, are those who make speculation their whole occupation. The professional
speculator is merely a high grade gambler, and she always winds up a loser.
Go to the Stock Exchange or the Board of Trade and you will see at either place a half a dozen old traders hanging. They are all people who have seen better days. A little inquiry and diplomacy on your part will bring forth the fact that these people were once prominent figures on the 'Change.
When you have more money than you need in your business buy good farm lands out west, or good timber lands. Noone ever bought good farmland or good timber land at the prevailing market price and lost money eventually. Of course, at different seasons of the year the price of land may go down a little temporarily, but the moment a good crop comes in, the price goes up again.
With good clear farm land you can always go to the nearest bank and borrow from sixty to seventy-five per cent of its value. Real estate is the true basis of wealth, and if you want to play a sure game, buy land that produces things.
When you buy vacant property in a large city, it is mere speculation. The land does not bring in any remuneration, and you are simply betting that the prices will increase. Every large city has abundant instances of vacant property that is not worth as much now as it was ten or twenty years ago.
Real estate booms come in cycles. Prices go up and people get the fever and buy vacant property. The boom explodes, property goes down and you can’t get your money back. The chances are you have bought the property on two or three years’ time, and it certainly is paying for a white elephant when you are paying for land that is worth less than what it cost you. You cannot get out, however, because the original payment has already been made, and your only hope is to save something on your investment. Notwithstanding the fact that certain business sections and certain residence sections in any city steadily increase in price, yet the average real estate in the city increases by very slow percentage.
The same amount of money, put out in mortgages, with the interest added and compounded, will develop wealth greater than the average vacant property investment, for where one lot soars up to a high price there are a hundred that don’t increase at all, and the picking out of the lot that is going to increase in value is as hard as picking out the horse that is going to win the race. It is because the vacant city property has only speculative value that the business woman should not touch it.
Buy farm property that you can rent. It will bring you interest on your money right along, and the tendency of farm land is land always has been steadily forward.
Mr. Yerkes, of Chicago, was a speculator who made millions in the street-car system. He was thoroughly familiar with Hydraulics, and he soaked the stocks as full of water as possible and then unloaded on the investors who speculated in street-car stocks. These speculators are now holding the bag. When Mr. Yerkes closed out his holdings in Chicago he granted an interview, and one truth he uttered in that interview has ever been remembered by the writer. It is so valuable an expression
coming from such a successful speculator that we are going to give it to you.
It is as follows: "I have never known anyone to successfully speculate in grains or stocks for two years."
The business woman who is watching the ticker or calling up the Stock Exchange every day, who takes little flyers, is skating on mighty thin ice.
When you buy farms you are exchanging your money for the most certain thing in the world, for the basis of all wealth is land, and money simply represents the things which come out of the land. The things that grow on the land are exchanged for gold, and the gold is exchanged for things that come out of the land.
The Government exchanges the gold for pieces of paper called money, which in reality means that you can exchange these pieces of paper for gold, and you can exchange the gold tor the things that come out of and grow upon the land.
The stock broker may not like this chapter because the more speculation the more she benefits. She gets a rake-off every time someone buys and every time someone sells. She plays a sure thing.
She is like the woman with the Wienerwurst privilege. Don’t Speculate. Invest.
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