Here are some nice numbers:
1. A Python can survive quite happily on 1 good victim per year. (Finally proving there’s a difference between snakes and stockbrokers.)
2. According to an old Chinese proverb, there are only 2 types of good people: the dead and the unborn. (So that’s more bad news for stockbrokers then!)
3. During the 1890s, Emperor Menelek II of Ethiopia was told about electric chairs, and he promptly ordered 3 as a neat way of disposing of undesirables. Unfortunately, he didn’t realize that before you could kill people with them, you needed an electricity supply – which Ethiopia hadn’t quite got round to. The ever-resourceful Menelek put one of the chairs to use as his new imperial throne.
4. 4 record companies turned down the Beatles before they were signed to Parlaphone. (Most businesses stay in business by minimizing risks – take heed beginning traders. Too much risk-minimization can lead to under-performance – take heed experienced traders.)
5. Jesse Livermore says it took him 5 years to learn to enough about stock market speculation to make big money when he was right.
6. In 1932 the Soviet Union ruled that there should be only 6 days per week.
7. A mediaeval superstition from Central Europe says a woman can regain her virginity by bearing 7 bastard children. (I heard an analyst say something similar about one of his stocks last week.)
8. In pre-Christian times, there were 8 days in the Graeco-Roman week.
9. An old Turkish proverb seems to have been designed to offend everybody: “Among any 10 men, 9 are women.”
10. The British press tycoon Lord Northcliffe put notices up in his office, saying: “They are only 10.” It helped remind him of the mental age of his newspapers’ readers.
I love numbers. Nine of the number facts above are from A Book of Numbers by John Grant. One is from Reminiscences of a Stock Operator.