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General OneFile Gale Comprehensive database for finding articles. Nearly 3, full text periodical titles and millions of full text articles, many with images. Not only that but the goal must also be a speculative one, for only there lies safety — paradoxical as that many seem. The buyer must not merely seek the repayment at some future time of the dollar capital invested.
Nor can he concern himself Speculative Attitude Essential 19 excessively with income, in whatever form it may be obtained as an incident of ownership while the investment is held. The program must be aimed at obtaining a sufficient profit to offset the average losses sustained in all investment, the inevi- table personal errors of judgment, the effects of currency de- preciation and taxation, and the unexpected necessity of having sometimes to close out an investment earlier than originally planned. Definitions make dry reading, but it is essential that we have a clear conception of the financial terms which are so often loosely used and which are basic to our present subject.
Beyond Stocks and Bonds: Learning about Futures, Options, Derivatives, and More
In the first place, we are limiting our concern in these discussions to the proper handling of capital in the form of securities or cash. The problem of preservation of capital is that of storing for future use today's excess spending power, in such a way that it can be reconverted to usable funds at any time without an overall loss. Successful investment is a battle for financial survival. Discarding all theory I think the average "investor" is look- ing for a permanent medium to place a given number of dollars where it will return a reasonable income, and the original num- ber of dollars will always be quickly obtainable in case of desire or need.
This might be termed the standard or goal of orthodox investing. It is not to be found today, at least as far as I know, because all the possible investment mediums fail in one or more particulars. Unfortunately, even if such an "ideal" permanent investment medium were to be had, it would fall short in another and most important particular. That other factor is, of course, the ability to get income and principal repaid in units of the same purchas- ing power as originally invested. There is nothing unreasonable in this desire. Please note, the only demand is to return what is invested plus the rental of profits secured from its use.
It is not like buying a "gold clause" bond with a check on a bank and demanding repayment in the actual gold. The layman will usu- ally argue that "a dollar is a dollar," but despite this he will at a later date see the point if the shoe happens to pinch. At least as far as my experience goes, this totally ideal "investment" is as totally non-existent. It is not hard to see why it should be merely a theoretical formula. Nothing is safe; nothing is sure in any field of life.
Specifically the wealth of the world does not increase fast enough to allow payment of compound interest or pyramiding of profits on existing "invested capital. And it's all as old as the hills. For years the tide has been swinging back and forth, and as the advantage has swung too far towards the debtor class, a cry for "deflation," usually popularly noted in objection to the "high cost of living," has generally grown until something was done about it, and then as the edge went to the creditor, "infla- tion" or, in other words, general complaint as to commodity prices being too low and money too scarce, dominated the pub- lic mind.
Thus it logically follows that in order to attempt even to approximate our definition of what the public really thinks it is getting when it buys a ''safe investment," it is necessary to "speculate.
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Thus it is really necessary at the start to admit and expect that the great majority are not going to be able successfully to invest or speculate, or whatever one calls their handling of their capital, any more than the majority succeed in the first place in securing their proportion of existing wealth or, for that matter, of existing happiness. Successful preservation of capital must also overcome the increasing handicaps imposed by modern popular and socialistic governments, supposedly to help the masses. Obviously, our ideas will sound wrong to most people.
Any investment policy followed by all naturally defeats itself. Thus the first step for the individual really trying to secure or preserve capital is to detach himself from the crowd. It is necessary to think in individualistic terms. One has to consider what seems best for one's own preservation. Thus they are always trying to wrest away the possessions of the few for what they believe their own advantage.
It is surprising how much they can appropriate without much resistance. But after a while the industrious and the thrifty finally are worn down, and they begin to turn for protection to imagined "anti- social" devices. In the history of the world we find the record of savings really saved through buying gold, hoarding precious stones, and other forms of "hard wealth" privately secreted.
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