Daily Speculations

The Web Site of Victor Niederhoffer & Laurel Kenner

Dedicated to the scientific method, free markets, deflating ballyhoo, creating value, and laughter;  a forum for us to use our meager abilities to make the world of specinvestments a better place.

 

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2/11/2005
All Gamblers Die Broke, by Victor Niederhoffer

There is a nice revue of Jule Styne at the Algonquin with excellent piano playing by Mark Nadler and singing by KT Sullivan. (Mark's specialty is playing the “Rhapsody in Blue” while singing “It's Wonderful”, and tap dancing at the same time. And it's no wonder that the village voice calls him "the most prodigiously talented performer in America today). Styne is famous for writing  music for “Gentleman Prefer Blondes”, “Peter Pan”, “Bells Are Ringing”, “Gypsy”, “Funny Girl”, and “High Button Shoes”. His most popular numbers are “Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friends”, “Just in Time, and “The Party's Over”. He had a failing however, he liked to gamble, and no matter how successful his shows and songs were, he apparently lost it all at the track.

Many of his songs describe a man's state of misery as he lives in penury through suffering the curse of winning his first bet. It brings to mind what Artie always said "all gamblers die broke". Thank goodness I did not have the good fortune to make money on my first speculations so I had the sense to call it quits after I had lost 75% of my first fortune. Since then I have found that too fast a profit sets up forces that cause the mistress of markets to take it back. Artie always added "and most of them end up degenerates".

I am trying hard to be the exception that proves the rule. And I encourage all the kibitzers out there to insist that I won’t be, as it tends to keep me even further forward on the balls of the feet.