Monday, January 21, 2008

How To Think About The Markets, And Your World

When I first went to market I met some retail stockbrokers who had been through the '73-'74 bear. There was no life in their eyes.
It wasn't just the drop from 997 to 570.
It was that it had ground against them day-after-day.
For fourteen months. 43% in an inflationary period, the loss of buying power was 60%.

I'm re-reading Only Yesterday and Since Yesterday and you get the same sense, only deeper and even more protracted, just brutal.
Here's DealBreaker:

The Wit and Wisdom of Bess Levin, Celebrated Jewish Financier And Raconteur
Or How To Think About The Markets, And Your World

I've seen a lot in the markets in all my years -- the nightmare of '73-'74, which led to my barbituate phase (and my first divorce, but who's counting?); the joys of being at the ground floor when JWM was gearing up the boys at Solly (chronicled in my book, 'Liar's Poker'); the coke-fueled days riding the Nasdaq like a Thai hooker during the late '90s, then riding it down.

Since I've made and lost fortunes and made them again, in markets like this I like to pass along my accumulated wisdom and historical perspective to the younguns on the desks today. I was cutting my teeth trading EM bonds when most of you were crapping yellow, so you should listen to me.

Here are two not unrelated thoughts to put this week in a little perspective. The first comes from my boy JK Galbraith (don't get me started telling stories; God, I miss him). Might sound familiar to a few putting money to work today. The second is a more recent vintage; keep it in mind when your broker calls you saying it's time to buy....MORE