Buy low, sell high

"Buy low, sell high” is the mantra of making money on Wall Street, but when is it low enough to buy? According to one Wall Street proverb, the time to buy is when there is “blood in the streets.” The proverb has been attributed to financier Bernard Baruch and to industrialist John D. Rockefeller, Sr., but it’s most frequently attributed to Baron Rothschild.

During the Panic of 1871 in Paris, when everyone was selling, Baron Rothschild (according to the story) was buying. 10 May 1907, Wall Street Journal, “In the Price,” pg. 1:

Baron Rothschild (if his memory will bear one more legend) once advised the purchase of French Rentes.

“But,” exclaimed he to whom the advice was imparted, “the streets of Paris are running with blood.”

To which the Baron calmly replied: “If the streets of Paris were not running with blood you could not buy Rentes at this price.”

"Buy when there’s blood in the streets” (Baron Rothschild in 1871)