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BY THE WAY
FRIEND "caps" our item about Pen
A Mar, Calexico, Mexicali, etc., with
this: "I can 'go you one better'-a town named for three States. Where Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia come together, there is (in West Virginia) a village named Kenova."
Texarkana is the name of a town on the borders of Texas and Arkansas, and it has the unique distinction, so it is said, of postmarking its letters with the names of two States-TEX-ARK.
Sir Philip Gibbs tells in "Harper's Magazine" about being introduced to an audience by a man who had forgotten the lecturer's name. "We have on our platform to-night a man,' the chairman began, 'whom it is unnecessary to introduce, whose name-er-whose name -er' . . . here he cast a beseeching
glance at me, and I murmured 'Philip Gibbs' as he bent slightly down over the
speaker's desk. He rose triumphantly and introduced me, with a sweeping
gesture and a bow, as 'Sir Frederick
A well-known physician who once saw don writes to us, apropos of a paragraph
the skeleton of the "Irish Giant" in Lon
in this column, as follows: "The cause of his gigantism is disclosed at the floor of the skull. This shows that the 'pituitary body' was greatly enlarged. This curious body or gland, normally weighing only 5 to 10 grains and only about the size of the tip of the little finger, is essential to life. It governs the development of the body. In
"THAT OLD SWEETHEART
"I can see the pink sunbonnet and the
She wore when I first kissed her and
Grew round the stump,' she loved me-
T'S James Whitcomb Riley, of course. No other American poet ever touched simple human experience with the same wonderful sympathy and charm. He wrote a verse for every mood; he stirs every kindly emotion with his deeply sincere humor and pathos. A little book containing five of Riley's most popular poems, one of his best humorous stories, and a brief sketch of his life and works has been published. It is offered without obligation to adult lovers of good literature to promote a wider knowledge of the
Memorial Edition of
More than 1,000 masterpieces at a few cents each
O'Brien's case the cavity or cup in the For years there has been an insistent demand for all of Riley in one fine, popular bone for this gland is very large. Evi-priced set. That demand can now be satisfied.
dently the overgrowth of the gland produced the overgrowth of the whole skele
A feature in the "Armistice Day Program" issued by the Bureau of Lectures of the New York City Board of Education for the public schools consists of songs, addresses, and poetical selections. Among the last is one called "Who Won the War?" The peculiar personal allusions call for a wider publicity even if the "poetry" does not. Here are two stanzas:
Who won the great war,
Who chased the foe?
"I," said the Italian,
Sitting on his
With my bald d'Annunzio;
Who won the great war,
"I held him low
With Lloyd George and Jellicoe;
From the "Journal" of the American Medical Association:
"Don't buy thermometers in the sum
All his poems, all his short stories-the masterpieces that have caused the schools
Every cultured home should at least know something about Riley and his work.
"Poems and Stories Every Home Should Know"
Five Riley poems that will live forever; poems and stories that every American should know are printed in this little book; with beautiful illustrations by Howard Chandler Christy; an appreciation of Riley's humor by Mark Twain; and the high lights of Riley's life.
No obligation, but you must act now-to-day. Fill in the coupon; the book will come to you at once by mail.
The Financial Department is prepared to furnish information regarding standard investment securities, but cannot undertake to advise the purchase of any specific security. It will give to inquirers facts of record or information resulting from expert investigation, and a nominal charge of one dollar per inquiry will be made for this special service. All letters of inquiry should be addressed to THE OUTLOOK FINANCIAL DEPARTMENT, 381 Fourth Avenue, New York.
MAN wrote us not long ago, stating that he owned a certain 51⁄2 per cent bond which he had purchased at 96. "Since that time," he wrote, "the price has advanced to 1042, and the yield is therefore so low that I should like to sell and invest in something giving me a higher return." It seems almost inconceivable that a man should fail to realize that it is the purchase price which determines the yield of an investment. Certainly if a person buys a 5 per cent bond at par it is easy to see that the yield is exactly 5 per cent. If later the bond advances in price to 110, the yield is still 5 per
cent so far as he is concerned, and in addition he has a terpoint profit; for the man who bought at 110 the yield is about 11⁄2 per cent.
A letter from a woman just three days ago asked our opinion of the stock of a small concern in the Middle West. She said she had a large percentage of her savings invested in this stock, and wanted us to write her at our earliest opportunity whether we considered it a safe investment or not. Now there are thou sands and thousands of small corporations scattered throughout the country; obviously it is impossible to be familiar with them
THE record of an investment House may be judged by the safety of its
offerings, the volume of its business, and the length of time it has mar-
A small business for a long period of years-a large business for a short
The best test is: Has the House in question done a large
The reasons for this record are fully set forth in our booklet, "40 Years
all, and in many cases when their securities are not listed on any exchange or traded in with some degree of activity it is a long and well-nigh impossible task to find out about them. We did know in this particular case, however, that the stock was highly speculative. We wrote the lady that if she were not in a position to assume the risks involved our suggestion was that she consider selling and reinvesting the proceeds in something safer. If we had wished to run the risk of being considered impolite, we might have added rather bluntly that it is an indication of intelligence to investigate the safety of an investment before buying, not after.
From a minister there came a curious letter the other day. He had fifteen shares of a stock he had bought at about 85. His broker had advised him to seli when the price reached 103 and with the proceeds buy a stock selling at 55. Of this latter stock our correspondent already owned some shares purchased around 90; by buying more at 55 he figured to bring the average cost per share down to about 72. He wanted to know what we thought of the scheme and what our opinion was as to the future course of the two stocks in question. Well, in the first place, the two stocks he mentioned we regard as speculative, and any intricate scheme depending for its success on speculative stocks doing certain things we regard as foolhardy and nothing more. Further, it is impossible for us or any one else to indulge in anything more than a guess as to what stock prices are going to do. Predictions are frequently interesting, and sometimes they are correct, but in this
complicated world there are SO many things which can happen that a man must be of an extremely trusting nature to invest his hard-earned money in prophecies. Presumably our correspondent does not play cards for money or roll dice, but if ever a man was gambling he was. Here, again, we might have run the risk of being rude and telling him so in so many words.
It is interesting to observe how slow many people are to recognize that changes have taken place. We all know that a few short years ago high-grade bonds could be had to yield 7 per cent, Since that and in some cases more.
time bonds have advanced in price and yields declined in proportion. Yields on high-grade issues are one to two per cent lower than they were. Many people refuse to acknowledge this changed condition and still seem to think they can invest their money in safe bonds returning from 7 to 8 per cent. They scan the market quotations, select 7% and 8 per cent bonds selling at par or thereabouts, and write to ask if they are considered good investments. The answer is, that if they were they would not be selling at par or thereabouts. It does happen sometimes, perhaps, that a bargain may be picked up, but it does not happen frequently, and it is well to view with suspicion any security selling out of line with the prevailing market.
men wrote us recently about an in
"We enclose our check
on The Equitable in Paris" AMERICAN FIRMS engaged in foreign business are finding many advantages in carrying interest-bearing accounts with The Equitable's offices in London and Paris. Among the advantages are:
Payment of foreign bills by check-saving of a considerable sum yearly in interest-elimination of speculation involved in meeting obligations at future dates-replenishment of balances when exchange rates appear most favorable-establishment of a valuable local reference overseas-first-hand trade and credit information.
The Paris office, moreover, maintains a Foreign Travel Service Bureau which aims to save our clients' buyers or salesmen time and trouble. The bureau, which is in charge of an experienced travel man, arranges itineraries, buys railroad and steamship tickets, assists in obtaining passport visés, reserves hotel accommodations, etc.
The London and Paris offices are complete banking units, from which radiates a world-wide system of correspondents. The officers of our Foreign Department will welcome an opportunity to explain our service in relation to your specific needs.
IMPLIFY the work of making out your income tax return by having at hand an accurate record of your investment holdings, with the details of monthly income, tax-exemption, call features and other facts.
Our new booklet is designed to fill your need for such a reference-a loose-leaf page for each issue in your deposit box. Together with the record sheets, the handbook contains several pages of information which will be of value to every investor.
You can file it in a pigeonhole for ready reference.
vestment of his mother's. We investigated the security in question-a preferred stock-and wrote him that if his mother could not afford to run risks, as he said, we should suggest her selling. for the stock was rated highly speculative. He had written that the last thing she was in a position to do was to speculate. Upon receipt of our letter he wrote us again, thanking us, but saying that a friend had advised his mother to hold the stock for a year longer and then sell, because it would very probably advance twenty points or more in that time; he wanted to know if, under the circumstances, we didn't think it might be wise to wait. In his first letter he had stated that he didn't want his mother to speculate; his second letter, in effect, asked our approval of a speculation. In other words, in the interval he had joined the army of optimists who find it so difficult to realize that in speculation the chance of loss is greater than the probability of gain.
A reader in Canada wrote in to say that on an investment of $500 he had made a profit of $1,000 in the past six months. He had bought some mining stocks on margin, "and," he wrote, "if I, who know nothing about investments, can do so well, I figure that you who are in a position to know can give me advice which will make a lot more money for me." We remember seeing a cartoon some years ago of a crowd of men in a café, all well dressed and prosperous looking except one shabby individual who was reading the stock ticker over in one corner. The caption was, "Find the man who made a lot of money on his first stock speculation."
Occasionally people ask us how they can sell some building lots which they own in some out-of-the way part of the country. We are sorry, but we do not know. Real estate is a local proposition, anyway, and, besides, it is outside the province of a financial department. might, however, risk the following suggestion to people who are thinking of buying real estate: "Never buy land without seeing it first."
To people who write inquiring how to raise capital to promote inventions. oil companies, new manufacturing concerns, and all kinds of new enterprises we are obliged to say we can offer no advice. Our function is to do all we can to help our readers with their investment problems; we can offer no advice in regard to speculation-except leave it alone and we cannot find lucrative jobs in the banking world for young men who desire to get their hands on the country's purse-strings. For instance, a woman wrote us from the Southwest the other day that, as the representative of a certain concern, she was making on an average $500 a month. She wanted to become a bond saleswoman and deal, as she expressed it, "not in hundreds of dollars, but in thousands." A laudable ambition, perhaps, but we cannot tell her how to sell bonds successfully, and the fact that she is a success in her pres
ent position is no guaranty of success at selling bonds. It is a wise man who knows his limitations and does not overreach himself. This applies forcibly to investing, which is a business in itself, and should not be attempted by the inexperienced without the help of some one in a position to give them some protection against a false step. Speculation is an even more complicated business than straight investing; at best one needs good luck to be successful at it, and luck is never consistently good. The inexperienced speculator, or the man who speculates at long range, might better give his money to some deserving charity.
We are impressed by the large number of inquiries that come in regarding the value of securities after the investment has been made. This is frequently a case of locking the stable door after the horse has been stolen. It often happens that after an investor has made the purchase he begins to worry about the ultimate value of his securities.
There is seldom any necessity for haste in investing money. It is much
better to investigate first than to be sorry afterwards. There are always plenty of attractive securities available, and the investor should beware of the salesman who tries to hurry him into buying a security by stating that the price will soon go up. This "hurry-up" method is a favorite one with venders of doubtful securities.
In general, we think it advisable to purchase only securities which are listed on one of the principal exchanges. There is a distinct advantage in being able to secure a daily quotation on a bond or stock. The investor is thus always able to keep track of the current worth of his holdings, and he has always a mar. ket available in case he finds it necessary to sell. This, however, does not apply to real estate mortgages, which should be regarded as a permanent form of investment to be held until maturity date.
We have frequently repeated the warning against endeavoring to secure too high a rate of return. We think it is a safe rule not to endeavor to secure a higher yield than the average current rates of money. Every prospective investor can easily ascertain current money rates from the reports of the daily papers. Where the current rate is ranging from 41⁄2 per cent to 5 per cent it is dangerous to endeavor to secure a yield of 7 per cent, as the high yield in itself indicates some doubt as to the status of the security. This of course is a general rule which has many exceptions, but it is a safe one to stick to for the average small investor.
We often receive letters from persons who are worried because their bonds have declined a few points in the current quotations. If proper care has been made in the selection of the security to start with, there is no need to worry about daily fluctuations in the market price in the case of gilt-edge bonds. These fluctuations are entirely due to the changing current rates for money.