The purpose of this book is to supply, in a form suitable for lay- men, guidance in the adoption and execution of an investment pol icy. Comparatively little will be said here about the technique of analyzing securities; attention will be paid chiefly to investment principles and investors’ attitudes. We shall, however, provide a number of condensed comparisons of specific securities-chiefly in pairs appearing side by side in the New York Stock Exchange list in order to bring home in concrete fashion the important elements involved in specific choices of common stocks.
But much of our space will be devoted to the historical patterns of financial markets, in some cases running back over many decades. To invest intelligently in securities one should be fore armed with an adequate knowledge of how the various types of bonds and stocks have actually behaved under varying condi tions some of which, at least, one is likely to meet again in one’s own experience. No statement is more true and better applicable to Wall Street than the famous warning of Santayana: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”