Everyone is busy putting together lists of the greatest people and events of the last 1,000 years. (See ours:
The Basics of Business History: 100 Events That Shaped a Century.)
Share your investing and mutual fund questions on the
Dear Dagen board.
I'd rather take advantage of this end-of-the-millennium moment to speculate about events that, if they had happened, would have changed financial history.
It's not hard to come up with a few 20th-century twists that could have altered the course of investments and finance:
- After being fired from
Wellington Management in the mid-1970s,
Jack Bogle moves to sunny Los Angeles to start
Vanguard. The fund company fails after Bogle leaves to devote his life to
Werner Erhard's est movement.
Professor and money manager
Ben Graham's class at
Columbia University fills up.
Warren Buffett decides to sign up for marketing instead. Buffett joins
Avon (AVP) - Get Report after graduation and takes
Skin-So-Soft to glory.
Upon completing their paper on options pricing, junior professors
Fischer Black and
Myron Scholes adjourn to a nearby saloon. The paper is left in the bar and never recovered.
Paul Tsongas in the 1992 presidential race, former
Goldman Sachs (GS) - Get Report Chairman
Robert Rubin spends the rest of the decade as a Vermont innkeeper.
A hotel union strike wreaks havoc on
Michael Milken's first
Predators' Ball. Corporate raiders get egged. Junk-bond business dries up.
Charles Schwab abandons his discount brokerage business early when the original telephone reps are wooed by
Fruit of the Month Club.
Peter Lynch develops inexplicable rash while testing
L'eggs pantyhose investment.
Fidelity moves to him to a muni-bond fund.
(FMAGX) - Get Report
Long Term Capital Management bailout collapses when
John Meriwether asks Wall Street consortium members to throw in
Knicks season tickets.
Sandy Weill decides against
Citibank merger after ATM eats his card -- twice.
George Soros rethinks macro-trading strategy when a speculative short on the French franc leads to the loss of his holiday reservation at the Riviera's
Hotel du Cap.
Stocks Go Up, Stocks Go Down
doesn't have much use for Tuesday's
Lessons From Readers Biggest Investing Regrets.
"Showing both sides of the coin is virtually useless," Pancari writes. "You might as well say, 'Sometimes, things work and sometimes they don't. Hey, I'm no genius. I rode too many stocks down. ... The stock market is nothing but a casino without the free drinks. It takes time to master. I'll let you know when I get there."
But in this kind of market, showing the downside can be useful -- just to remind investors that there is such a thing as a downside.
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