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In the spring of 1962 JFK's policies were causing increasing inflation, companies were starting to raise prices.
JKF thought the way to "fight" inflation was to jawbone businessmen to not raise prices.
When the steel companies raised prices, JKF ranted in private that: . "my father always told me businessmen were a bunch of SOB'S" . We didn't learn about that comment till a few years passed.
And in public he said that they were being irresponsible bla bla bla
the instant result was a stock market crash,
xerox & polaroid, 2 of the high fliers went from about $190 to $130 in less than 2 weeks.
The rest of the market crashed too.
As a kid my parents generally bought stuff at the "end of the month specials",which were common in those days.
I had been looking at the stock market and when I saw prices crash,
I thought: this is just like the "end of the month special",
so I bought 15 shares of American Cyanamid, then in Oct 62, 10 shares of Texaco.
Things have changed a lot since then, mostly for the better.
I had to pay 25¢ a share extra for the "odd lot" shares,
commissions were outrageous until 1975 when they were deregulated,
and spreads were wide until decimalization took them from 12¢/ share on the NYSE and 50¢ NASDAQ down to today's 1¢
Then a stock had to go up more than $1 /share for me to make a profit, now a nickle is enough.
But back then there was more honesty and a lot more trust.
When I wanted to buy stock I'd just call the broker and he'd do the order, and I'd send a check later, and that was true of my first order.
People with a crooked bent took advantage of this trust and would place orders, and if the stock went up, pay for it, and if it went down, disappear. The result has been that now you have to fund your account before any trading. Settlement took 5 days then instead of 3, so there was more time to let the scam play out.
FWIW, Polaroid went bankrupt, Xerox has been dead money since 1969, and the other 2 disappeared in takeovers.
I've been in the market every day since May 1962,
even when I was drafted into the army, I kept trading. albeit, not so much.
My time line is much shorter now, in 1967 I bot Baxter labs and held it until 1983, 16 years. It went up 600% in that time, but so did inflation. So no real gain, just capital gains tax on phantom profits.
Now my average holding is probably somewhat less than 1 year.
Bill Douglass is an award-winning writer and futurist, published in The Economist magazine and elsewhere. He is principal at Gotham Communications, LLC, a boutique communications agency, representing a variety of public and venture-backed private companies as well as alternative investment firms. He made his first stock market investment at age 14; current investment interests include life sciences, robotics, energy, technology, and media. His investment philosophy is informed by a global perspective, having lived on four continents and worked in or otherwise traveled to over 60 countries. He is reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter at @billdouglass.
81 years old and counting.
PhD in Biochem, minor Genetics, UNC Chapel Hill.
MS Analytical Chem, St. Joseph's. (evening college).
BSc Chem, PCPS, now USP Philadelphia.
Hobby: Neurophysiological basis of the Rise and Fall of Civilizations
More-or-less self-taught individual small investor, who started late.
IMHO, Seeking Alpha is THE PREMIUM SITE w/o a peer!