André Kostolany in Exile
In the late 1930s, Kostolany recognized that Adolf Hitler would lead the European states into an uncertain future. Once again, he speculated on falling prices, this time with a successful outcome. As prices plummeted, Kostolany secured passage to America. Due to his Jewish heritage, the stock market expert emigrated to the United States and obtained American citizenship. For ten years, he held the position of president and general secretary of an investment firm, but he truly felt at home only on Wall Street.
The substantial profits from speculating on falling prices during the Great Depression had made him thoughtful. Kostolany could no longer “rejoice while others wept.” Therefore, he decided to only bet on rising prices and achieved significant success during the era of Roosevelt. In the early 1950s, André Kostolany met his future wife in Paris. After leaving the investment firm and an unsuccessful application on Wall Street, Kostolany left America and moved to Paris.
André Kostolany, the “stock market teacher,” returned to his homeland after World War II. During this time, he always followed global trends in his own investments, but no longer as a ruthless speculator. Interestingly, Lehman Brothers even terminated an account for him due to inactivity. A particularly impressive episode in his life was his skillful handling of German foreign bonds. In the midst of the ruins of Europe, no one wanted to buy these bonds. Nevertheless, Kostolany trusted in the determination of the Germans and acquired the bonds in Paris for 250 francs each. Some years later, these bonds were trading at 35,000 francs. In his newfound free time, Kostolany devoted himself to writing and entertainment.
His first work, “Der Friede, den der Dollar bringt” (The Peace that the Dollar Brings), was modestly published in 1957. However, his subsequent books became bestsellers, with some still regarded as stock market bibles and selling 13 million copies. In Germany, Kostolany became famous through his column in the financial magazine “Capital.” From 1964 until his death, he held the last page a total of 414 times. His legendary stock market seminars, attended by a total of 15,000 students, are also well-known.
André Kostolany lived for the stock market and had a special love for the fine arts, particularly opera. His preferred work was Richard Strauss’ “Der Rosenkavalier,” which he had the pleasure of even personally meeting. The speculator Kostolany embraced life to the fullest. While he could retreat to his house on the Côte d’Azur, he also lived and worked in the metropolises of Paris and Munich, at the pulse of the world. Although his wife urged him to move permanently to the vacation home, he declined, explaining to his friends, “Then I would soon be dead.”
Despite health challenges, Kostolany felt compelled to express his views on the course of the world’s stock markets. In 1999, from his wheelchair, he once again warned against the herd behavior of investors driving up the prices of internet stocks: “There will be a bloodbath.” Unfortunately, the great financial expert did not live to witness the prophesied bursting of the internet bubble after the turn of the millennium. André Kostolany passed away on September 14, 1999, in Paris.