A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 16, 2008
“A stock is worth what someone is willing to pay for it” (Wall Street adage)

What is a stock worth? An old Wall Street adage has it that a stock is worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

The pricing phrase dates to at least the 1800s.


17 December 1882, Grand Forks (ND) Herald, pg. 1:
The law of price is the law of brain. The value of the finest silk dress ever made is what fools are willing to pay for it, and that is determined by the vanity of the fool who bids highest. 

6 February 1883, Wall Street Daily News, pg. 1:
The price of a thing is what people are willing to pay for it, and the disposition of the public changes with the times and circumstances. 

17 October 1884, Wall Street Daily News, pg. 2:
That is one way of looking at it; but the usual test of the market value of an article, real estate or other, is what people are willing to pay for it. 

Google Books
Studies in Stock Speculation
By Harry John Wolf
Published by Fraser Pub. Co.
1966
Pg. 43:
“A stock is worth what you can get for it,” is an old adage, ...

18 April 1973, Sheboygan (WI) Journal, “Your Money’s Worth” by Sylvia Porter, pg. 4, col. 3:
An old Wall Street adage holds that a stock is worth what somebody is willing to pay for it.

Google Books
Sylvia Porter’s Money Book:
How to Earn It, Spend It, Save It, Invest It, Borrow It, and Use it to Better Your Life

By Sylvia Field Porter
Garden City, NY: Doubleday
1975
Pg. 861:
An old Wall Street adage holds that a stock is worth what somebody is willing to pay for it.

Google Books
Inside Out: An Insider’s Account of Wall Street
By Dennis Levine with William Hoffer
New York, NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
1991
Pg. 201:
... any stock — is only worth what somebody is willing to pay for it.

Google Books
Day Trade Online:
Start Trading for a Living Today

By Christopher A. Farrell
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons
1999
Pg. 69:
A stock is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Thursday, October 16, 2008 • Permalink