A 1912 brochure from a stockbroker setting out terms of business. The first page has some interesting advice, most of which would hold true today (apart from being satisfied with "fair profits.") The last pages of the booklet have 'Golden Opinions' (testimonials from 61 bound volumes 'open to inspection.') This from Glasgow in 1891 hints at pretty fast profits. Not nano-seconds but good for 120 years ago...
Gentlemen. Your two wires received this afternoon are good reading; the smartest transaction I was ever interested in, 50% profit in 63 minutes. First wire 3.22pm advising purchase, 4.25pm advising sale. I am much obliged.
H.HALFORD & CO.
(whether you deal with them or any other firm)
To be careful to whom send your money.
To deal only with firms of known standing.
To insist on references, and when satisfied
To state your requirements fully and clearly.
To put up ample margin.
To operate in stocks that have a free market.
To be satisfied with fair profits and
To leave something for the next man.
To be prepared to face a loss.
To average when markets are temporarily adverse.
To cut losses smartly when on the wrong track.
To "hedge" a risky operation.
To pyramid a promising deal.
To remember "nothing venture, nothing gain."
To never speculate backwards.
To avoid buying when contangoes are heavy.
To never "Bear" when a "Backwardation" rules
To "Stag" a promising issue.
To annually "spring clean" your investments
To turn out the "bad eggs" and
To re-invest in securities with good prospects.
To avoid unmarketable and hole-and-corner securities.
Note: Backwardation is a market condition where spot prices exceed forward prices. Contango is the opposite condition, where forward prices exceed spot prices.Terms still in use particularly in the crude oil market. Pyramid = To perform a series of transactions in which the speculator increases his holdings by using the rising market value of those holdings as margin for further purchases.