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.
Judging from the prices of the shares in these companies, they have not been very successful as a whole, and it would appear that a Government subsidy for mail or other service is almost necessary to make them profitable.
Speculation in shares of mining companies has of late years been indulged in to an enormous extent, and large fortunes have been made and much money lost. As a rule the prizes have been secured by those behind the scenes, and the public have not had the opportunity of participating until the price of shares had reached a figure which was almost prohibitory. As an investment mining shares, even of the best, are not to be recommended. Mines are apt to get worked out when the source of income fails and there is an end to the concern. Moreover, hundreds of companies are promoted which have a specious appearance on the prospectus, and are puffed in every imaginable way, when they have not an ounce of ore or a yard of ground to call their own. Of course, there are genuine undertakings which answer well and yield large profits, but it is extremely difficult to discriminate between the good and the bad, and the best after all are but a speculation.