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I am 56 today.

Hard to get that off my mind as 56 seems like a lot and, of course, Birthday's mark the end of a year, not the beginning, so this is year 57 on the planet for me and thinking about how different it is now from when I was born makes me wonder what kind of World, if any, we are building for our chilren – mine are 17 and 19.  

[March 29th, 1963 was a Friday](,1963(Friday%29) as well and a Boeing 707 with Warren Beatty on it was struck by lightning over London and had to dump it's fuel before landing and the Castro Regime apologized that day for firing on one of our jets with their Russian MIGs.  The first trans-Atlantic phone call was made the next day between NY and London (probably Beatty) and the New York City newspaper strike ended after 114 days on Sunday, with the price of papers doubling to 10 cents to meet union demands for raises.  Guatemala had a military coup that day with the US-backed army taking over the Government, which was close to electing Communist leaders (we couldn't have that!).  

Other notable items in March of 1963 were:

  • The first liver transplant (he died) 
  • Pakistan gave part of Kashmir to India who settled a border dispute with them and China 
  • Peru had an overthrow of Government 
  • Syria had a revolution 
  • Six people were executed in Paris for attempting to assissinate Charles de Gaulle 
  • They began building the Unisphere for the 1964 World's Fair in Queens 
  • The Pan Am Building opened in NY
  • A UFO was seen by hundreds of people in Hawaii
  • Lee Harvey Oswald bought the gun he shot Kennedy with.  
  • Mao and Kruschchev set up a meeting.
  • Soviet planes crossed US airspace for the first time ever (Alaska)
  • Lake Powell began to form in Arizona as they damned the Glen Canyon (it's called infrastructure – you see a lot if it in ancient texts)
  • A plane flight from Chile crashed in Bolivia (Douglas DC-6)
  • Bear Bryant was accused of fixing a football game between the Bulldogs and the Tide
  • A volcano erupted in Bali killing 1,150 people 
  • Gideon v Wainright was decided by the Supreme Court, giving accused criminals the right to an attorney for the first time
  • Alkatraz closed.  It cost twice as much to run as other prisons.  
  • The Beatles released their first album (Please Please Me)
  • The Shah of Iran sent soldiers to arrest the students of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and two of the students were beaten to death and dozens were arrested, radicalizing Khomeini.
  • Mumps vaccine was devoloped.
  • Four women in Kankakee, Illinois, claimed that they were dealt four perfect bridge hands, with the dealer getting all 13 spades in her 13 playing cards, her partner having 13 diamonds, and the other two players having 13 hearts and 13 clubs. According to a probability expert, the odds were "2,554,511,322,166,132,992,844,640,000 to one" against the event.[77] On October 22, a group of women in Jacksonville, Florida, would report being dealt four perfect hands [78] and a group of women in Fort Lauderdale, Floridawould report the same incident on January 27, 1964.[79] The Guinness Book of World Records has noted that "if all the people in the world were grouped in bridge fours, and each four were dealt 120 hands a day, it would require 62 x 1012 years before one 'perfect' deal could be expected to recur." [80]
  • God decides we're too dumb to read signs – leaves to find more intelligent life to guide….
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I had a black and white TV when I was young but there were some cool inventions in 1963:

  • The computer mouse.  
  • Weight Watchers was founded
  • Push-button telephones. 
  • The Avengers, X-Men and Iron Man (the comics) 
  • The Smilley Face
  • Casette Tapes 
  • LEDs 
  • Zip Codes 
  • Hypertext
  • Lava lamps 
  • Lamborghinis
  • Nanoseconds 
  • The nuclear test ban treaty 
  • Skateboards
  • Geosynchronous satellites  
  • Buffallo Wings
  • Dr Who
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The Dow as at 646.79 when I was born and now it's 25,874 so up 40 times in 56 years is pretty good though we could have gotten in at 6,600 just a few years ago and made 4x since – so it's always a matter of timing. 

Looking back on all these inventions and changes of 1963 I realize how I, as a teenager in 1978, took all those things for granted – just like my kids do now.  We still did nuclear fallout drills in my school when I was young but those stopped eventually and then we started worrying about over-population and the environment but then you start worrying about paying the rent, starting a business, getting married and having kids and suddenly you're looking back on cassette tapes and lava lamps like they are ancient history and your kids are all concerned about the environment.

To some extent, the more things change, the more they stay the same but it does worry me that we don't build dams and lakes anymore – we don't solve many problems – we just endlessly argue about them.  Brexit is a prime example of that – even after we decide to do something, we still argue it to death!  

Looking back, the first 50 years of my life have been very excting and I very much look forward to seeing what the next 50 years will bring.  The first trans-Atlantic call was made the day I was born and now my kids group chat with live video streams from their friends all over the World (you don't have to have ever met someone in person these days to be very good friends with them).  

Investing is very much the same now as it was 50 years ago too.  I'm fortunate to have learned a lot from my Grandfather, who was 60 years older than me and there's a guy who remembered when TV, Radio and Cars were invented so he certainly wasn't impressed with our little toys.  Look at the companies that were in the Dow in the 1960s – these were the biggest companies in America at the time:

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These were the Blue Chips of the day – the stocks you were sure you could retire on.  The Dow didn't change very often back then, now it's more of a popularity contest but keep this is mind when you pick your current companies for the Future – you may be right or you may be wrong but the most important thing to be is FLEXIBLE!  

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Find the stocks that provide goods and services people want now and in the Future because the only thing we can be sure of going forward is change.  

Here's to the next 57 years – may they be prosperous and healthy for all of us!