Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.

The Mississippi Valley Bubble

In 1718, French speculators capitalized France's Mississippi Valley company at 10 million livres, later equivalent to $50 million.

In 1803, America's President Thomas Jefferson of the United States purchased the equivalent Louisiana territory from France's Napoleon Bonaparte in an arm's length transaction for $15 million. The deal was financed by England's Barings Brothers, who came to an ignominious end nearly two centuries later

The French investors were "onto" something, when they saw that "Mississippi" would someday be immensely valuable. But they overlooked the other ingredient of value; time. That means that "someday" is not today. Just like the turn of the century tech boom.

So the value of the "same" territory lost $35 million (70%) in 85 years. Think of that when you think about "Stocks for the Long Term." Eventually, the value passed $50 million. But the original investment would have been "dead money" for over a century! And the original investors were dead by the end of it.

People sometimes forget to do net present value calculations.