A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 21, 2009
“Buy stocks that go up; if they don’t go up, don’t buy them” (Will Rogers)

In his syndicated column of November 1, 1929 (appearing in the New York Times and other newspapers), humorist Will Rogers (1879-1935) reflected on the recent stock market crash and said:

“There is one rule that works in every calamity. Be it pestilence, war or famine, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The poor even help arrange it. but it’s just as Mr. Brisbane and I have been constantly telling you, ‘Don’t gamble’; take all your savings and buy some good stock, and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don’t go up, don’t buy it.”

The advice is sometimes shortened to; “Only buy stocks that go up. If they don’t go up, don’t buy them.” The trick, of course, is knowing for a certainty which stocks will go up before a purchase is made.


Wikipedia: Will Rogers
William Penn Adair “Will” Rogers (November 4, 1879 – August 15, 1935) was a Cherokee-American cowboy, comedian, humorist, social commentator, vaudeville performer and actor. He was the father of U.S. Congressman and WWII Veteran Will Rogers, Jr.

Known as Oklahoma’s favorite son, Rogers was born to a prominent Indian Territory family. He ultimately traveled around the world three times, made 71 movies (50 silent films and 21 “talkies"), wrote more than 4,000 nationally-syndicated newspaper columns, and became a world-famous figure.

By the mid-1930s, Rogers was adored by the American people, and was the top-paid movie star in Hollywood at the time. Rogers died in 1935 while on an around-the-world trip with aviator Wiley Post, when their small airplane crashed near Barrow, Alaska Territory.

1 November 1929, New York (NY) Times, pg. 23:
Thoughts of Will Rogers
On the Late Slump in Stocks

To the Editor of The New York Times:
LOS ANGELES, Cal., Oct. 31.—Sure must be a great consolation to the poor people who lost their stock in the late crash to know that it has fallen in the hands of Mr. Rockefeller, who will take care of it and see that it has a good home and never be allowed to wander around unprotected again.

There is one rule that works in every calamity. Be it pestilence, war or famine, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The poor even help arrange it. but it’s just as Mr. Brisbane and I have been constantly telling you, “Don’t gamble”; take all your savings and buy some good stock, and hold it till it goes up, then sell it.

If it don’t go up, don’t buy it.
Yours,
WILL ROGERS.

1 November 1929, San Antonio (TX) Light, “Will Rogers Says,” pg. 7B, col. 4:
But it’s just as Mr. Brisbane an I have been constantly telling you: “Don’t gamble.” Take all your savings and buy some good stock, and hold it ‘till she goes up. Then sell it. If it don’t go up, don’t buy it.
Yours,
WILL ROGERS.

Google Books
Financial Independence Through Common Stocks
By Robert Dexter Merritt
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster
1954
Pg. 51:
A sage bit of advice was given some years ago by Will Rogers. He said, “The way to make money in the stock market is to buy good stocks. Hold them until they go up. And if they don’t go up, don’t buy them!”

Google Books
Will Rogers’ Daily Telegrams—The Hoover Years, 1929-1931
(The Writings of Will Rogers, Series III, vol. 2)
Edited by James M. SMallwood
Stillwater, OK: Oklahoma State University Press
1978
Pg. 92:
“Don’t gamble. Take all your savings and buy some good stock, and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don’t go up, don’t buy it.”

26 September 1984, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “What Stock Advice Should an Investor Trust?” by James Flanigan, Pg. OC1:
What most people want to know about the stock market is very simple: How can they make money in it? And for that, Will Rogers’ advice—“Buy good stocks. When they go up, sell them. If they don’t go up, don’t buy them.”—has yet to be improved upon.

Google Books
The Wordsworth Book of Humorous Quotations
By Connie Robertson
Ware, Hertfordshire [England]: Wordsworth Reference
1998
Pg. 168:
Don’t gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don’t go up, don’t buy it.
(From Will Rogers’ Autobiographey—ed.)

New York (NY) Times
How to Beat the Market: Easy. Make Late Trades.
By FLOYD NORRIS
Published: Friday, September 5, 2003
Will Rogers used to tell his listeners how to invest in the stock market. Buy stocks that go up and then sell them, he said. If they don’t go up, don’t buy them.

Google Books
The Quotable Will Rogers
Edited by Joseph H. Carter
Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs Smith
2005
Pg. 93:
DON’T GAMBLE. TAKE ALL YOUR SAVINGS AND BUY SOME GOOD STOCK. IF IT DON’T GO UP DON’T BUY IT.

New York (NY) Post
DON’T GET SO EXCITED
EMOTIONS CAN COST INVESTORS PLENTY
By VITALIY N. KATSENELSON
June 21, 2009
(...)
Did I finally figure out the stock-market game? Did I find a secret way to follow Will Rogers’ advice: “Buy stocks that go up, and if they don’t go up, don’t buy them.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Sunday, June 21, 2009 • Permalink