It was May 1959—six-and-a-half years after I had been offered the Canadian stock called brilund by the Smith brothers. It looked as though the wheel had turned full circle because, like then, I was again appearing at the "Latin Quarter" in New York.
Somehow my stock-market dealings had got talked about in Wall Street. The news of my success had leaked out and gradually spread.
One day, to my surprise, I received a telephone call from the Business Section of Time. They said they had heard something about my success in the market and asked if they could send a reporter to see me.
Next day he came and I gave him all the facts about how I had made my fortune. I let him see my accounts, my statements, my cables. He examined them carefully and left saying that he was very impressed with my story.
A day later he came back and told me the business experts on the staff were highly skeptical. They said the story could not be true.
This really did not surprise me, so again I took him over the facts and figures. He studied them for several hours, and when he finally went away he seemed to be convinced that they were accurate.
But this, I was to discover, was only the preliminary skirmish. The next morning he called to ask if we could meet for lunch. Half an hour before lunch, he telephoned again and said he was bringing along a senior editor, who wanted to check on the story himself.
They arrived for lunch at one o'clock. Once again I went through all the financial details. The senior editor was so interested that he left his food untouched on the table.
At four o'clock, after he had heard the whole story, he ate a sandwich. At five o'clock he left with the reporter. He had made no comment, but he was obviously impressed. I have never seen a man so interested.
At six o'clock that evening came another phone call. This time it was a Wall Street expert of Time. He said the Managing Editor would not allow the story to be printed until three members of the Time staff would vouch collectively that they had seen me and checked all the facts. He also, to my great surprise, insisted on seeing my dancing act.
The Managing Editor not only doubted my success in the stock market, but he apparently did not think I could dance either!
At seven o'clock the expert arrived. At first he shook his head incredulously about everything I told him and all the evidence. I produced concerning my stock-market operations. He seemed determined to disbelieve everything.
When Julia and I appeared on stage he seemed to be impressed by our dancing—so at least that was something! I had been undergoing this cross-examination for three days and I was becoming slightly unnerved by it. As a result I did not feel at the top of my form and towards the end of the act, when I had a strenuous lift to perform, I tore one of my right arm muscles badly. I was just able to finish the act.
It was with a painfully aching arm that I sat down with the Wall Street expert to continue the meticulous financial cross-examination.
It went on and on—for hours. All the time he came back to one question: Why did I talk so freely about my stock transactions?
I replied that it was because I was proud of what I had been able to do. I felt that I had nothing to hide.
It was after midnight, but during all these hours my inquisitor refused to have even one drink. He admitted, quite frankly, that he wanted to keep his mind clear to detect any flaws in my system or records.
Then at two in the morning, he threw down his ballpoint. "Let's have a drink," he said. His last skeptical doubt had been swept away. He was convinced. He lifted his glass and toasted my success in the market.
He left at four o'clock in the morning, but before he did he was asking me for advice. I gave it to him. I told him to buy a certain stock, but only if it rose to 3954. He was also to put a stop-loss on it of 38^4. I hope he did not disregard this advice and buy at a lower figure because it never reached 39%. It fell suddenly to 22!
The following week the article appeared in Time, which of course has a highly influential readership, especially in financial circles. The result was that I became accepted by most—but not all—of the financial pundits as a highly successful, if unorthodox, stock-market investor. Hence this book.
The other result was that I had a badly torn muscle. A doctor told me that I might have to stop performing the act altogether. He was doubtful if I would ever be able to lift my partner again.
Two weeks later I was on the stage doing the act as usual. I have done it ever since—proving, perhaps, that medical experts can sometimes be as wrong as the experts on Wall Street.