Daily Speculations

The Web Site of Victor Niederhoffer & Laurel Kenner

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John Kuhn: The Market Book Business

I, then a buy side guy, met Robbie Colby a few times many years ago when he was a broker/salesman. Handsome, well dressed, intelligent and intense, armed with graphs, sheets of data; hoping to sell me or anyone else some shares. As the heads of sales are quick to point out to their charges, "We're in the moving business, not in the storage business."

That's the job. Stand out, have your merchandise stand out, get someone to buy it. And of course, someone generally will, whether it's "channelingstocks.com" or "we are joined tonight by Dr. etc etc", "our new site has 93 new technical indicators," IBM, whatever. Go to enough meetings with enough enthusiasm and eventually someone or ones will move.

The grind required by the market is one thing. But one wonders about the size of the ancillary "grind" of the market-book business. They are, by and large, dramatically easier to digest than a statistical textbook, even the one I am quite fond of: "The Cartoon Guide to Statistics." What it's all about is the promise of comfort which Brett describes so well. Five minutes to wealth. Like the proverbial apple, this message is eaten, will be eaten, over and over again. Of course, if any of them "worked", you'd only need that one. That would be bad for business. Recently I've had an unsolicited opportunity to obtain a system that's "been outlawed" for x# years. Maybe that book's actually been written, but like the woman's stocking that never runs has been hidden away in a vault the past several decades?

I have a particularly revolting print I wish I could reproduce here: below it the legend "Grandibus Exigui Sunt Pisces Piscibus Esca".... And above, many fish eating many other generally smaller fish.

Of course, these books don't cost much generally, until used.