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Russell Sage: The Money King


giofranchi
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I have started reading

 

[amazonsearch]Russell Sage: The Money King[/amazonsearch]

 

There can be no history: only biography

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

So long as some men have more sense and self-control than others, just so long will some men be wealthy.

--Russell Sage

 

Highly recommended! :)

 

giofranchi

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  • 4 weeks later...

I bought a used hardcopy a few years ago and enjoyed the read for its financial history content.  Anytime an investor can get a little financial history, you should.

 

For Sage himself, the author paints the picture that he was considered the lender of last resort and most hated him for it.  But the times were somewhat different (or were they?) and he was not trying to make friends.

 

 

Cheers

JEast

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If a stock is high enough to be sold, it is high enough to be also sold short.

--Russell Sage

 

 

giofranchi

 

He ignores scarcity of capital and margin of safety. A stock can very simply be described as cheap, roughly fair value or expensive. You might want to sell a stock that you bought cheap when it becomes fair value, but you normally wouldn't want to sell it short at fair value.

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If a stock is high enough to be sold, it is high enough to be also sold short.

--Russell Sage

 

 

giofranchi

 

He ignores scarcity of capital and margin of safety.

 

I advise to read the book. You will surely understand that almost nobody in history understood scarcity of capital and margin of safety as well as Mr. Sage did. :)

 

giofranchi

 

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When the Civil War ended, one of the most urgently needed commodities required to start the war-torn nation back on the road to recovery was money - a commodity Russell Sage never ran out of. Sage's boast, "I have always had more ready cash at my command than any bank," if not exactly accurate, was in good measure true.

 

 

giofranchi

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An important part of business, to Russell Sage, was revenue.

It was the opinion of Professor Grodinsky that during Sage's tenure, revenue that should have been ploughed back into maintenance and improvements of the right-of-way and equipment of the leased roads was continuosly and ingeniously transferred to the treasury of the MOP, from which it flowed uninterruptedly into the pockets of Sage and his colleagues, in the form of interest payments, dividend payments and service charges. As a result of the continual plunder of the leased roads by the MOP, their equipment broke down, their assets were looted "and their financial condition became deplorable."

 

This reminds me of Mr. Malone, who might have known and studied Mr. Sage’s methods.

I must take heed and try to follow in their steps! ;)

 

Gio

 

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Outwardly he diligently fostered his public image of habitual miser. Inwardly he enjoyed himself at the public's inability to understand  his actions. The neighbors set their clocks with his comings and goings. From the first handshake in the morning with the neighborhood policeman, each business day followed the same pattern.

 

Gio

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According to one tale that winter, Sage stood his post on the corner of Board and Wall when he was approached by a younger, less-affluent money changer.

“That’s a fine coat you have on Mr. Sage,” he said.

“Like it do you?” asked the financier.

“Yes, Sir,” sighed the younger man. “I sure would like to own a fine coat like that, Sir.”

“Well,” said Sage, “It’s for sale.”

At this the kerb-broker leaned over and fingered Sage’s lapel. “Why, Mr. Sage,” he exclaimed, “that coat’s new isn’t it?”

“Yes Sir. One of my nephews had it made for me at his own tailor.”

(The story went that Sage’s nephew had had the coat made for $75. But he knew Sage would never pay more than $15. So he had the tailor charge Uncle Russell $15 – he, himself, supplied the difference. Sage, an unsurpassed judge of values, whether it was horses or shoebuttons, realized that at $15 he had bought a bargain.)

“Well, Mr. Sage, how much do you want for that coat?”

“$30.”

“Done.”

With that magic word, the trade was sealed. Sage immediately shrugged out of the overcoat, pocketed the $30 and went off to the office for his old coat, chuckling at his fast profit.

 

 

Gio

 

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