I recently got an email with a brilliant little fairytale about how to trick people into happily giving you all their money. I wanted to share with you, but it was in Dutch, and the origin was cleary not the original author.
Today I was rummaging around the internet to see if I could find the original author, and I did. I found out that the Dutch story was freely translated from an English source. Here’s the original story from that English source, unaltered (and with reference):
Once upon a time in a village, a man appeared and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $5 each. The villagers seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them.
The man bought thousands at $5 and as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort.
He further announced that he would now buy at $10. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again. Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms.
The offer increased to $15 each and the supply of monkeys became so little that it was an effort to even see a monkey, let alone catch it.
The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50. However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now buy on his behalf.
In the man’s absence, the assistant told the villagers “Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at $45 and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each.”
The villagers rounded up with all their savings and bought all the monkeys. Then they never again saw the man nor his assistant, only monkeys everywhere!
And THAT ladies and gentleman is how the stock market works…
(by John Sinteur,
as published on October 25th, 2008
on “the Daily Irrelevant”)