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Norember 21, 1885
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
Oar Telephone Call U.....JOHN 3T0.
ONE TEAR, in advance, SH DOLLARS.
Comiuiinications shotUd be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
NOVEMBER 21, 1885.
The reported final signing of the railroad agreement, on Thursday
last, by all the high contracting parties gave a final stimulation to
stock values, and so the week promises to end brilliantly. The trans¬
actions in stocks and bonds has been enormous lately, and the bulls
have everything their own way. The unnatural stagnation and
depression of four years, dating from the murder of President Gar¬
field and the failure of the corn crop in 1881, has been followed by
a period of very natural excitement in the market for securities.
So far, there has been no set-back; for all the news has been favor¬
able, and the business of the country has steadily improved with
the advance of prices.
The real estate market has naturally sympathized with tbe
impulse given by Wall street and general business. There is a
very confident feeling, and a great deal of good buying of houses
and lots, but as yet there is no speculation. It looks as though
next year, or the year after, there would be a strong market for
racant property in and near New York. People who have made
money in Wall street would do well to invest their profits in vacant
lots on this island, in the region north of the Harlem or in Brooklyn.
Stock values begin to look high, for the rise has been very rapid;
and those who now transfer their operations to real estate will have
in their possession tangible property, the future value of which is
The war between Servia and Bulgaria may come to an end with
out involving the great powers. Indeed, a winter campaign in the
mountain regions of southeastern Europe does not seem probable.
It is very evident that Russia is behind Bulgaria, while united
Europe is back of Servia. The snows of winter may quench the fires
of war temporarily, but it seems probable that next Spring will see
the opening of one of the greatest wars recorded in history. Next
year, indeed, promises to be a momentous one, and if Congress does
not interfere with the natural course of things, the United States
ought to be benefitted in every way by the warlike disturbances in
Europe and Asia.
The annual meeting of the Stockholders of the Real Estate
Exchange and Auction Room (Limited) takes place on December
14th next. The annual report will be presented, and a new Board
of Directors will then be elected to manage the Exchange for the
ensuing year. The report, it is believed, will be a favorable one.
It will show that all the alterations have been perfected and paid
for, and that the rental value of the Exchange should make the
building worth at least $600,000. A dividend of 1}^ per cent, on
the capital stock has been declared; and, after it is paid, there will
remaid a surplus in the treasury. It is believed that the profits on
the renting of the building, and receipts from the auction stands,
will warrant a better dividend further on. A very promising
symptopi is the sttady increase of the annual memberships. Brokers
throughout the city and neighborhood find it is to their advantage
to attend the daily meeting of brokers for the transaction of busi¬
ness; but, to do so, they must pay their quarterly dues of $15. It
ifl from this source that the Exchange will ultimately receive its
largest income, for in time the annual members will number
serve. If proxies have been given under any misapprehension it is
in the power of the shareholders to cancel them, and they should
Such of our readers as fail to peruse the eitracta we give from
other journals in our ** Business World," miss a good deal of read¬
ing that is instructive and profitable. A careful study of these
excerpts from the contemporaneous press reveals the fact that finan¬
cial wisdom is not confined to the city of New York. The discus¬
sions of trade topics in tho Chicago, Cincinnati, Louisville and St.
Louis journals are often very able ; much more so, indeed, as a gen¬
eral thing, than the articles on financial topics in the New York
press. Indeed, our leading dailies often admit editorials to their
columns which show neither information or good judgment.
The pro8i)erity of the Exchange and the fact that it is likely t(.
affect local polities, at least as far as real estate is concerned, has
attracted the attention of politicians; and there is a rumor afloat
that an effort will be made to capture the Board of Directors at the
next election. To effect this end proxies have been requested on
various pretexts, the real object being carefully concealed. Mem¬
bers should see to it that their trust is not abused. All shareholders
are earnestly advised to be present at the anuual meeting December
Hth, and to vote themselves after they have heard the annual report
and canvassed the merits of the several tickets which it is under¬
stood will be offered for their acceptance. There will be a lively
canvass, to which there can be no objection—provided it is not con¬
ducted with ill temper or for any sinister purpose. Above all things
the shareholders should rally to protect the Exchange from being
used for any other than the interest it was called into life fco sub-
In the *'Business World" this week wiU be found an extract
from the Commercial Bulletin on the railway combinations now
going on, which is much above the average of the discussion of the
city press in dealing with transportation problems. The Bulletin
points out the tendency so manifest in our railway systems to com¬
bine into groups, but it is of opinion that there will be constant dif¬
ficulty in maintaining these great systems in successful operation ;
for should any of them become very profitable, rival roads will be
built between the points which do the most lucrative business. And
hence, argues this authority, there can be no stoppage of railway
wars, unless the law steps in and prohibits the paralleling of exist¬
This is a large subject, and cannot be settled off-hand. It does
not seem possible that any more West Shore or nickle-plate roads
will be built within the next twenty years ; nor is it likely that
capitalists will invest any more money in rival telegraph lines, in
view of the heavy losses of all the recent enterprises intended to
compete with the Western Union. There will be a good deal of
railroad building for the next three years, but the aim in every new
enterprise will be to help and develop existing systems rather than
to bring new railroad combinations into existence to antagonize
existing trunk lines; yet, it is not impossible that Congress may be
called upon to exercise some jurisdiction over our gigantic steam
transportation systems. The National Congress has power, under
the Constitution, "to regulate commerce;" and the demand will be
made upon it to protect the railways from wasteful and unneces¬
sary competition, and also to see that these great corporations do
not wrong and overtax the community by unnecessary high freights
and passenger charges.
A Good Permanent Investment-
Editor Record and Guide :
1 am a young married man, with a small but sure income; euough,
with economy, to support self, wife and child and save a little yearly.
Recently I have come into possession of $10,000. This sum I wish to invest
in a way that will leave very little to chance. I want to be so fixed that if I
die my wife and children will not be left in penury. What do you advise ?
A life insurance, an investment in government or first-class railroad bonds,
or in real estate ? If the latter, what could I best do with $10,000 ?
All things considered, our correspondent would probably secure
his object best by providing his family with a home. Life insur¬
ance does not always prove satisfactory, especially when the insurer
is young and in good health with a fair prospect of a long life. A
company that is entirely solvent and under the best possible man¬
agement in 1885, may, by the year 1900, be in bad hands and in a
precarious condition financially. The great English statesman,
William E. Gladstone, once emphasized the fact that life insur¬
ance as a business was deceptive, because its profits are in the begin¬
ning of the history of each separate company, while its losses were
in the distant future. Still, tens of thousands of widows and orphans
have advantaged by life insurance, and there is nothing to be said
in derogation of the beneficent idea upon which it is Dased.
Government bonds pay but very small interest. Then the current
impression as to their safety and certainty of a steady income is not
altogether warranted by the history of the market value of govern¬
ment securities since the time of Alexander Hamilton. The quota¬
tions of the various government issues has varied greatly during
the course of our history. Foreign war will depress them, and a
serious civil war might seU them down to 50. Then, again, the
government has the option of paying any of the 3 per cents, at any
time. First-class railway bonds are reasonably secure, but they
ure issued for limited periods, and hence are not a permanent
investment. Income bonds and railroad stocks are, of course, out
of the question; the last few years has shown that there is no cer¬
tainty as to the income to be got from the best located lines.
Mortgages on productive real estate are an excellent investment;
but there is an element of uncertainty, duetto the State taxation of
the income from mortgages.
Now we come to real estate investments, f 10,000 will secure
** email investor " a very comfortable home in Brooklyn, or any of
the Burburba of New York, Pay for your house outright) and if you