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Ken Fisher for Forbes - 'Turning $1,000 Into $42 Million'

December 04, 2013 | About:
Holly LaFon

Holly LaFon

258 followers
I have been writing for this magazine for 29-plus years, and with this issue I pass Lucien O. Hooper to become the third-longest-running “expert” columnist in FORBES’ 96-year history. Lucien may have been the most popular ever for what Steve Forbes recalls as his “conversational way,” and even though he died 25 years ago, his investing lessons still hold today.

Lucien oozed his Maine farm boy origins. A Harvard dropout, Lucien began at the bottom of the Boston Commercial in 1919, eventually overseeing statistics while penning a commodity column. Soon he was writing stock market commentary for multiple brokerage firms now long forgotten (remember E.A. Pierce?) and became a leader on security and financial analysis.

Lucien’s arrival at FORBES came via Helen Slade. If Ben Graham is the father of security analysis, then Helen is surely its mother. Ben, in fact, was Helen’s prime disciple. Number two? Lucien. When Helen started The Analysts Journal in 1945 (today’s Financial Analysts Journal and the bible to the scholarly set), she had Ben and Lucien debate each other in the very first issue. (So typical of him, Lucien always said he lost. No one lost. Everyone won.)

Helen hosted legendary “Tipsters Wednesday night soirees” once a month–40 to 50 financial folk, swilling, spilling and grilling each other’s market ideas. Even my introverted father attended when in New York, and one July evening in 1949 so did a 29-year-old Malcolm Forbes, who had an amazing knack for picking people and recognized that Lucien knew his stuff, made the abstract comfortable and endured where “smarter men usually fail,” as Lucien put it.

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