. . . but one issue of bonds is sometimes made the basis for other issues. Indeed, one of the money- making devices of the time is the formation of companies that issue their bonds on the security of other people's bonds that they have purchased, either yielding a higher rate of interest or obtained at lower prices than they expect to realize for their issues. There seems, in fact, to be no limit to the production of securities that are spread before capitalists. There never was a time when it was so easy to invest money — and to lose it. Of the securities that are offered with first-class recommendations, it is probable that about one third are actually good, one third have some value, and one third are practically worthless. Hence the very natural inference that whatever art there may be in the matter of investing is to be exercised chiefly in the avoidance of unworthy offerings, and it is to that point that a profitable discussion of the subject must be mainly directed.
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