John Train wrote several books on investing, as well as columns for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and other publications. In the October 2 1978 issue of Forbes Magazine, he recounted a story sent in by a reader about a Mr Womack, a farmer who had never lost money in the stock market “following a technique which was the ultimate in simplicity” yet had resulted in some stocks making “long-term capital gains of 100%, 200% and even 500%”.

“When during a bear market he would read in the papers that the market was down to new lows and the experts were predicting that the Dow was sure to drop another 200 points, the farmer would select around 30 stocks that had fallen in price below $10 — solid, profitmaking, unheard-of companies (pecan growers, home furnishings, etc) — and paid dividends. He would buy a $25,000 ‘package’ of them. And then, one, two, three or four years later, when the stock market was bubbling and the prophets were talking about the Dow hitting 1,500, ...

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