I was reflecting the other day on my earliest investing memories. I used to spend a lot of time with my grandparents and two things stick out from my early memories. The stock market and horse racing. I remember my grandfather reading the paper every day to check out the results from the prior day in the stock market and at the track. He had a system for handicapping the horses and jockeys and would log their performances in a notebook. Now when we went to the track he would never bet more than a few dollars on any race and I am sure in his lifetime he has probably come out break even which is more than I can say for most people that “bet on the ponies”.
Thankfully I did not develop a love for the horses, instead falling into love with my grandfather’s other passion the stock market. My first exposure to the stock market came in 1984 when I was finally old enough to be taught how to read the stock tables by my grandfather. I remember sitting at the dining room table pouring over the stats in the Wall Street Journal with my grandfather after he would get home from his job at Nabisco. For the younger readers there was no internet or CNBC to watch and get stock prices. My grandfather would make some notes in his notebook and call his broker and tell him what he would want to buy. (more…)