20 de mayo de 2007



I WENT to work when I was just out of grammar school. I got
a job as quotation-board boy in a stock-brokerage office. I was
quick at figures. At school I did three years of arithmetic in
one. I was particularly good at mental arithmetic. As
quotation-board boy I posted the numbers on the big board in the
customers' room. One of the customers usually sat by the ticker
and called out the prices. They couldn't come too fast for me. I
have always remembered figures. No trouble at all.
There were plenty of other employes in that office. Of
course I made friends with the other fellows, but the work I
did, if the market was active, kept me too busy from ten A.M. to
three P.m. to let me do much talking. I don't care for it,
anyhow, during business hours.
But a busy market did not keep me from thinking about the
work. Those quotations did not represent prices of stocks to'
me, so many dollars per share. They were numbers. Of course,
they meant something. They were always changing. It was all I
had to be interested in the changes. Why did they change? I
didn't know. I didn't care. I didn't think about that. I simply
saw that they changed. That was all I had to think about five
hours every day and two on Saturdays: that they were always
That is how I first came to be interested in the behaviour
of prices. I had a very good memory for figures. I could
remember in detail how the prices had acted on the previous day,
just before they went up or down. My fondness for mental
arithmetic came in very handy.
I noticed that in advances as well as declines, stock
prices were apt to show certain habits, so to speak. There was
no end of parallel cases and these made precedents to guide me.
I was only fourteen, but after I had taken hundreds of
observations in my mind I found myself testing their accuracy,
comparing the behaviour of stocks today with other days. It was
not long before I was anticipating movements in prices. My only
guide, as I say, was their past performances. I carried the
"dope sheets" in my mind. I looked for stock prices to run on
form. I had "clocked" them. You know what I mean.

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