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How This Book Came to Be

It was in the issue of May 25, 1959, that Time Magazine devoted almost a full page in its Business Section to the extraordinary stockmarket story of a dancer— Nicolas Darvas.

Time told how this complete non-professional, ". . . who ignores tips, financial stories and brokers' letters," was able to make himself a millionaire several times over through the investment methods he developed.

This article raised a lot of eyebrows among Wall Streeters who were shocked by Mr. Darvas’ disregard for many of the long-accepted, ordinary investment practices to which they were accustomed. But it also fired the interest and imagination of thousands of investors across the country.

We at the AMERICAN RESEARCH COUNCIL, publishers of many of the most widely-used and authoritative investment and business guides, were also impressed by Time's brief outline of Mr. Darvas' successful investment methods. As a result, we decided to approach Mr. Darvas about writing a book describing his techniques. This was not easy—to find him, our chief editor had to track him down in Paris where he and his partner, Julia, were starring on a French television program. There we discovered the remarkable set of circumstances that were to make this unique book possible.

First, Mr. Darvas is a showman. His dance act is one of the most exciting international acts in show-business history, and he and his sister Julia have starred in some 34 countries. He is accustomed to being constantly in the spotlight of public attention. Therefore, he had no hesitation, as might many private individuals, in making public the details of the stock transactions, which went into his making a fortune. Perhaps never before in history has any individual so fully exposed his financial dealings to the public eye.

Second, it turned out that Mr. Darvas is far more than a spectacular dancer. He is a highly literate individual with a solid background in economics and sociology gained at the University of Budapest; a former sportswriter, journalist and crossword-puzzle editor in his native country; and therefore thoroughly qualified to write a book. As a result, the COUNCIL now takes pride in presenting one of the most extraordinary success stories in the history of Wall Street. It is especially significant not only because this investment record was made by a true nonprofessional and "outsider" who was investing for that legendary "second income", but also because the profits he made were not the result of a lucky killing or chance tip.

On the contrary, the investment methods that eventually made Mr. Darvas a millionaire were the result of hard-won experience, years of mistakes and learning from those mistakes. These specific, highly practical methods can serve as a useful guide to every individual investor.

We think that Mr. Darvas' techniques, especially his unique "TechnoFundamentalist Theory," and many of his pithy stock-market maxims—"I just jog along with the trend trailing my stop-loss insurance behind me." "There are no good or bad stocks, there are only rising and falling stocks." "I can become a diagnostician but I can never become a prophet." — will become an accepted part of the pages of Wall Street history.

To further clarify Mr. Darvas' approach, the COUNCIL has drawn up and added to his book a number of charts showing his operations in the major stocks that helped him make over $2,000,000 in the stock market in a period of 18 months dating from when he first successfully applied his perfected theory.

Mr. Darvas is still a dancer, because that is his profession; and he is still an investor, because he enjoys it and still makes money at it. Everything about him is unorthodox. He has no office, not even a desk for his financial dealings. He works from his hotel room or the bar in the Georges V in Paris, the Dorchester in London or the Plaza Hotel in New York. When he is in New York, his favorite city, he sits every evening at his usual table in the fashionable Oak Bar of the Plaza Hotel with a newspaper page, a telegram, and some figures on a half-sheet of paper. He appears to be relaxing like the others around him—but actually he is studying stock prices and analyzing the market with the brilliant approach he has evolved over the past few years and which has brought him millions.

The story of Nicolas Darvas is one of the astonishing legends of today's America. We are proud to be able to publish it in a book, which we believe will be a stock-market classic for many years to come.

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