How Does One Get Their Stock Market Information When They Are Isolated?

The Nicholas Darvas Stock Market Information Success Story (part 28)

During my tour of the world my journeys ranged from Hong Kong to Istanbul, Rangoon, Manila, Singapore, Stockholm, Formosa, Calcutta, Japan and many other places. Naturally I often ran into other difficulties trying to receive or send my cables to get my stock market information.

One major problem was that while I was traveling I had to be careful that stock market information did not miss me. So when I was on the move the stock market information was duplicated or even triplicated. It was quite common for the same cable to leave Wall Street addressed Pan-Am Flight 2 Hong Kong Airport, repeated Tokyo Airport, repeated Nikkatsu Hotel Tokyo. This arrangement enabled me, if I missed the stock market information in flight, to pick it up immediately after landing.

My difficulties in operating in Wall Street from Vientiane in Laos, for instance, were tremendous. The first of them was that there was no telephone system there at all. The only local telephone was between the American military mission and the American Embassy which, of course, was of no use to me.

If I wanted to send or collect any stock market information I had to take a rickshaw to the post office, which was open just eight hours a day and always closed bang on the minute.

Since there was a difference of twelve hours between local and New York time, the post office was shut from opening to closing time on Wall Street. I was under constant tension, worrying whether important stock market information from was being held up.

One day when I went to the post office, I found a telegram awaiting me that had been forwarded from Saigon to Hong Kong and then sent on from Hong Kong to Vientiane. I opened it apprehensively, thinking that the delay certainly must spell disaster. But luckily it contained no stock market information I felt compelled to act upon.

But Laos was only one of the places where I ran into difficulties. In Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal in the Himalayas, there was no telegraph service at all. The only telegraph office was in the Indian Embassy and all communications by cable from the outside world came through there.

The Embassy officials obviously considered it beneath their dignity to bother about private cables addressed to ordinary people concerning stock market information. When a telegram arrived for me they would not deliver it, and I had to constantly telephone the Embassy to see if there were any messages. Sometimes I had to call ten times before they told me to come and collect my cables. Moreover, they were handwritten and often illegible. 


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