A Stockbroker is an Honorable Business
Our brokerage firm was founded in 1931 by my father, Reed Glover. He was a banker. I'm 40 years old. I started in the securities business in 1954. I believed we were in a new era: there could no longer be a severe collapse in stock prices.
In 1968 and 1969 a great many large firms overexpanded. Worse than that, they recommended stocks which were unsound. The downturn occurred in 1969 and 1970, many of these firms went out of business. They forgot that there really isn't a new era. The business cycle is not going to vanish. You must be prepared for adversity as well as prosperity.
When you're dealing with an individual's money it's a terrific responsibility. The individual is exposed to so many people in the brokerage business that it's quite a compliment to have him turn to you for investment service. The rule I've always gone by is that I expect to have my brother-in-law's account and my roommate in college. But it seems everybody has a roommate in college or a brother-in-law who's in this business. So I don't really use my social acquaintances for purposes of business. My closest friends are with many of .the brokerage firms. At social gatherings we don't discuss the market, other than in an amuzing way.
I'm amazed how rarely the individual customer will find fault with the broker. Along with that, there's no written contract in our business. If the stock goes down, the customer's word is his pledge. They all pay. This is an honorable business.
When you're dealing with a person's money and investments, you deal with his hopes and ambitions and dreams.
It's quite easy to look around and say this is a parasitical business. All you're doing is raking off your cut from the productivity of others. That is, I think, an erroneous view. Frankly, I've wrestled with that. It comes down to this: the btext2html of the country's strength and prosperity is the finest economic system that's ever been devised, with all its imperfections.
Our system depends on a free exchange of publicly owned assets, and we're part of the picture. If there were no stock market, I think the economy would be stifled. It would prevent the growth of our companies. Without a stock market, the companies wouldn't be able to invest their capital and grow. This is my life and I count myself very fortunate to be in this work. It's fulfilling.