Abrams on Investing
I was introduced to the stock market when I was 13. I had a bar mitzvah and my father bought me ten shares of something called Bayuk Cigar. I was outside playing stickball, came in for dinner, and my father opened the newspaper to the stock market pages. He pointed to Bayuk Cigar and it said “plus one.” He said, “See this?” I said, “Yeah. So?” He said, “Well you have ten shares of it, so that means you made ten dollars.” I said, “Whoa! Wait a minute. You mean I was out playing stickball and I made ten dollars?” He said, “Yes, because you own ten shares of this company.” So I said, “Why don’t I collect these things? Why don’t I just collect stocks? Maybe I would have enough money coming in that I wouldn’t have to do anything else.” My father got very angry and he said, “I never want to hear you talk like that again. Man survives by the sweat of his brow. Anything to do with investments is strictly on the side.” I thought, I don’t know what his problem is, but I’m going to collect these things. That’s how I got interested.
This is from an interview with investor Larry Abrams in the July 2013 issue of Kaizen. Interesting throughout.
Another fun excerpt:
Perseverance is particularly important. As Churchill said: “Never, never, never give in!” Well, I don’t know about never. Very rarely will do.
Explaining his failings in understanding spatial relations and, along the way, giving a nice insight on division of labor and specialization:
I was good at math and English, but in a hunter-gatherer society, I’d probably be considered an idiot.