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 September 10, 2010
“Traders drive Chevrolets, investors drive Cadillacs”

"Traders drive Chevrolets, investors drive Cadillacs” means that frequent trading results in a Chevrolet (a common car, or an average reward), but that long-term investing results in a Cadillac (a much more expensive car, or a greater reward). The saying has been cited in print since at least 1974.

The investment saying is dated, and not just because Chevys and Cadillacs aren’t as popular as they once were. Lower trading costs and internet trading have made long term investing a less-frequent investment strategy.


14 April 1974, Baltimore (MA) Sun, “Nothing like a buck,” pg. D5:
Investors drive Cadillacs, traders drive Chevrolets.

Google Books
How to make money in Wall Street
By Louis Rukeyser
Garden City, NY: Dolphin Books
1976
Pg. 47:
...but be forewarned that it is a losing game for most people even after years of experience; even in darkest Wall Street it’s true more often than not that “investors drive Cadillacs; traders drive Chevrolets.”

Google Books
5 March 1981, Lodi (CA) News-Sentinel, “A lack of confidence” by Louis Rukeyser, pg. 4, col. 2:
Even in ‘The age of the Great Compression,” it may still turn out to be true that “investors drive Cadillacs, traders drive Chevrolets.”

9 October 1988, Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch, “How to lose your money” by Miachael S. Beall, pg. C1:
Traders drive Chevrolets investors drive Cadillacs.

Google Groups: misc.invest.funds
Newsgroups: misc.invest.funds
From: (Patrick)
Date: 1995/07/09
Subject: Re: closed-end funds

FWIW- there’s an old Wall Street saying that said, “Traders drive Chevy’s Investors drive Cadillacs.”

Google Books
Wall Street’s picks for 1997
By Kirk Kazanjian
Chicago, IL: Dearborn Financial Pub.
1997
Pg. 3:
Investors versus Traders
It has often been said that investors, those who buy quality companies and stay in the market regardless of outside influences, drive Cadillacs, while traders, people who jump in and out on a regular basis, stroll around in Chevys.

Random Roger
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Oh My
(...)
COMMENTS
10:02 AM
Anonymous said…
(...)
One old saying I remember goes something like traders drive Chevy’s and investors drive Cadillac’s. I’m not saying you are wrong (I kinda think you are correct), but traders frequently are wrong.

MsMoney.com
Tax Issues
September 10, 2006
“Trading in and out of the market is expensive. Even if we get lucky, a big hunk of our winnings will go to pay capital gains taxes. There’s more truth than humor in the old saw ‘Investors drive Cadillacs, traders drive Chevrolets’.”
- Barbara Stanny, author of
Prince Charming Isn’t Coming:
How Women Get Smart About Money


UrbanSurvival
Coping: Addicted to Change – Rethinking Values
Posted on September 10, 2010 by George Ure
(...)
I used to think that applied only to the province of human relations, but now I’m sensing there may be another meaning to it; something broader about how to take life in general.  Wonder if it has anything to do with the old Wall Street saying “Traders drive Chevrolets, long-term investors drive Cadillacs…”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Friday, September 10, 2010 • Permalink