Where are the Customers' Yachts? or, A Good Hard Look at Wall Street
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More About This Title Where are the Customers' Yachts? or, A Good Hard Look at Wall Street


Fred Schwed, Jr., was a professional trader who had the good sense to get out after losing a bundle (of mostly his own money) in the 1929 crash. Some years later, he published a children's book titled Wacky, the Small Boy. Wacky became a bestseller, and Schwed went on to draw further on his experience in writing Where Are the Customers' Yachts? His publisher said of him, "Mr. Schwed has attended Lawrenceville and Princeton and has spent the last ten years on Wall Street. As a result, he knows everything there is to know about children."


Introduction xiii
Jason Zweig

Foreword to the 1995 Edition xxi
Michael Lewis

Introduction to the 1955 Bull Market Edition xxv

1 Introduction – “The Modest Cough of Minor Poet” 3

The Validity of Financial Predictions

The Passion for Prophecy

When the Bull jumped over the Moon

II Financiers and Seers 23

Big Banking – Nice work if you can get it

Some Assistant Tycoons

The Fruit on the Blossom of Thought

Wall Street Semantics


The Pay

The Difficulties of “Earning” Money

An Art Without a Muse

A Little Aptitude Test

III Customers – That Hardy Breed 49

Varieties of Customers

How to Get Customers

Margin What to Do When the Dam Bursts

Some Case Histories and a Diagnosis

Churning Money as a Career

IV Investment Trusts – Promises and Performance 67

Stop Making Your Own Mistakes

Where is the Catch?

The Hell-Paving Construction Company

The Trouble with the “Best” Securities

The $750,000 Bird

By Way of Apology

The Magical Investment Corporation

V The Short Seller – He of the Black Heart 87

For the Defense

A Different Defense

With and Without Bears

Bear Raiding

VI Puts, Call, Straddles, and Gabble 105

What Options are (More or Less)

In Defense of the Pure Gamble

The Catch

VII The “Good” Old Days and the “Great” Captains 117

The I.Q. of a Big Shot

Speculation on Speculation

A Brief Excursion into Probabilities

Down will Come Baby



A Bowl of Nickels

VIII Investment – Many Questions and a Few Answers 135

Headaches of the Wealthy

A Little Wonderful Advice

Price and Value – Our Special Market Letter

Cash as a Long-Term Investment

Your Way of Life and the Basis Book

IX Reform – Some Yeas and Nays 153

Was it Stolen or Did you Lose It?

Nobody Loves a Specialist

Horizons and Limits of Regulation


About the Author 171


"wonderful book" (Evening Standard, 24 August 2001)