This section is from the "Everybody's Guide to Money Matters" book, by William Cotton. With a description of the various investments chiefly dealt in on the stock exchange, and the mode of dealing therein. Some account of the pitfalls prepared for the unwary, and suggestions to the cautious investor.
Going back to the parcel of securities which Miss Smith received from her lawyer, we will presume that they represent safe investments of various kinds. It will be prudent, however, to ask her banker to examine them to see if any, in his judgment, might be sold with advantage (either on account of doubtful character or exceptionally high price), and the money invested elsewhere. This business the bank will transact for her; and in the matter of investment, in addition to using her own common sense as to the nature of the securities in which she should place her money, she should seek the advice of her banker, and rely very much upon his opinion.
The undertakings in which the public are invited to invest their money are so numerous, and the prospects of success so speciously asserted, in good and bad alike, that it is necessary to be extremely cautious in accepting any statements of the kind without rigid examination and proof of their being true and genuine. Otherwise the investment or purchase becomes a speculation, and, more than likely, will only end in disaster.
The term "securities" applies both to the concerns in which investments are made and to the deeds and documents which represent the investments. Thus a mortgage or a mortgage deed is a "security." The Government Funds, stocks and shares in all companies, bonds, foreign and otherwise, Corporation Stocks, &c., are all termed "securities." A convertible security is one which may be sold in the open market, there being no restriction upon the persons who may hold it.
We will now endeavour to put before the reader some account of the various "securities" in which the public invest their money according to individual choice, and which (with the exception of mortgage on real property-land or houses) may be bought and sold in the stockmarket through the agency of a banker or broker. Quotations of the market price of these securities may be found in the Stock Exchange list, which is published daily, and can be seen at most bankers' offices. Many of them are also quoted in the daily newspapers.