November 14th 1923
Today, I found an amazing deal in shares! I had to buy it: the offer was just too good to be true, and so many people have started buying, I wanted to get in on it.
I decided to take Billy to Wall Street, home of the Stock Exchange, to show him how shares work (I believe the younger you learn, the better you get.). It was horribly bitter, so Billy and I walked fairly briskly to keep warm.
It was getting rather crowded, but when I finally saw the different shares I could buy, my heart flipped over, and I swung Billy around with joy (which was rather hard because of all the people)! I bought one share for $100, which in three months will turn into $500! And then in three months I can buy one for $200 and get $700 in return! Can you believe it?! Even though we are already nearly four years into the decade: I feel that the twenties are going to be simply splendid!
July 27th 1928
Today it is Martha’s fifth birthday! Lillian and I decided to get her something special and- because of the money we are making from the shares- it was definitely not a problem! She was so thrilled when she opened her brand new doll with REAL hair! She hasn’t put it down since, bless her.
The shares are doing great too. Last week I bought a share for $800 and in two months that will turn into $1200! It is amazing how much money America has nowadays! It really is the roaring twenties! If I keep on buying shares, at this rate, we could be millionaires! But, of course, it is not just us who are making money. No, no, no: most of New York (at least, if not the whole of North America) are getting richer from shares! We are being encouraged a lot to keep buying shares. They say that the more you buy, the more the prices go up. I guess that is a good thing because then you get more money, but then you have to pay more too. Oh well, so long as I am getting a lot of money. I love shares!
Even President Hoover said ‘The poor man is vanishing from amongst us.’ And he’s president so he is right.
I can now buy ‘on the margin’. I only have to put down 10% of the cash and then the stock market puts down the rest! How good is that?! Then, I borrow the 90% to pay it back, and I think the demand in shares has increased ten times!
5th September 1929
Two days ago it was the highest the stock market has ever been, but today there was a 10% fall in stock. Maybe the money is running out. Surely President Hoover will save us from any danger. However, some people have been saying that all this buying in shares will end up making us bankrupt. And, to be honest, the 10% fall has proved their case. Hopefully, the stock will rise again soon.
29th October 1929
All I hear about is ‘Falls, falls, falls!’. For a while is seemed the stock market had recovered. I mean, the 10% fall on 5th September was recovered on the 6th, and nothing changed until eight days ago. On the 21st October, there was a big fall in stock prices, and then three days later there were more big falls but the banks intervened and managed to hold the prices. But yesterday, the were absolutely massive falls and more massive falls today. No banks have intervened this time. I think the people were right: the money had run out. I don’t know what to do. I was relying on those shares! I mean, I got so many loans from the bank that I was going to pay back with the money I got from the shares, but now I have no shares to make money from. I don’t know how we will come as a family, and as a country.