South Orange, N.J. Investment Research Press, 1954. x,86pp. plus two promotional items, one supplement, and two investment reports laid in. Publisher's blue cloth with silver gilt title on front board, spine gilt. Occasional pencil annotations and underlining. In original printed blue dust jacket. Small pen mark to front of dust jacket, some chipping and toning to extremities and spine ends. Very good. Item #WRCAM55220
Uncommon "Limited First Edition" of this early work on stock market formula plans by a pioneering investor still regularly cited by investment advisors. As Genstein explains in the preface, this book began as his M.B.A. thesis at Seton Hall University and evolved into a manual for amateur investors. Positioning himself as an "outsider from the point of view of the financial fraternity," Genstein urges the reader to stay away from forecasting altogether: "the story is frequently repeated that when the elder J.P. Morgan was asked his opinion about stock prices, the best forecast he could make was, 'I think they will fluctuate'" (p.1). Instead, Genstein touts the wisdom of his variable-ratio formula plans, in which one "uses a median obtained by capitalizing current dividends, multiplying them by the normal price-dividend ratio of the latest ten years to determine the present normal value of stocks" (p.27). Once the normal value is established, "[p]urchases may be made on a scale down, below 80% of normal value. Sales may be made on a scale up, above 125% of normal value" (p.28). Laid into this copy are investment reports providing updated "Normal Values of the Dow-Jones Industrials," are addressed to "Mr. A.D. Deutschman" of Queens, N.Y. and dated "3/11/55" and "4/20/55" as well as a supplement to the book dated January 1956 and other material related to Genstein's theories. Get-rich-quick schemes were certainly not new to Americans in the 1950s, but investment advice books were still a relatively new frontier. Whether Genstein's advice is sound may be debatable, but there were subsequent editions of this book issued in 1956 and 1961.