Pitfalls Of Speculation




During the ten years which have elapsed since the “Pitfalls of Speculation” was first published a great many personal communications have been received by the author asking for enlightenment on various phases of the subject. The question most frequently asked is how the novice may most intelligently go about the task of determining when general basic conditions and future prospects are satisfactory

It also appears that a great many people have no conception of the rudimentary elements of a railroad or industrial report and that, in their attempts to interpret the multifarious details of these documents, without understanding the basic principles thereof, they become confused and discouraged.

In view of these facts, the writer has attempted in the 1916 edition to offer prescriptions and suggestions which may assist the reader. The two added chapters “Analyzing Basic Conditions” and “Simple Methods of Analysis” cover the essential points referred to above as fully as the limitations of space will permit.

In the added chapter “The Impossibilities of Speculation,” it has been the desire of the writer to forcibly impress and vigorously expose the popular fallacies which bear upon speculative ventures. Much that is contained in that chapter was expressed in other words in the first edition, but the matter is important enough to bear reiteration.

Aside from these additions, it has not been deemed necessary to materially alter the original text, as the test of ten years has brought forth no serious criticism of the general contentions offered. What is sought in the 1916 edition is to amplify, rather than to revise.


  • I. The Impossibilities of Speculation
  • II. The Public Attitude Toward Speculation
  • III. Ignorance, Over-Speculation, etc
  • IV. Manipulation
  • V. Accidents
  • VI. Business Methods in Speculation
  • VII. Analyzing Basic Conditions
  • VIII. Market Technicalities
  • IX. Tips
  • X. Mechanical Speculation
  • XI. Short Selling
  • XII. What 500 Speculative Accounts Showed
  • XIII. Grain Speculation
  • XIV. Suggestions as to Intelligent Methods
  • XV. Simple Methods of Analysis

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