Investing in the context of the market

This may be OT per se but I wanted to raise a practical point that applies to ALL of the companies discussed on this board.

I remember the heyday of tech investing of the late 90’s. Well run companies, mediocre companies, and outright crap companies were rocketing to the stratosphere and beyond during a wave of enthusiasm and exuberance over technology. The message boards of Motley Fool and Silicon Investor were awash with sages and charlatans espousing the merits of so-and-so company with groundbreaking tech associated with explosive growth and negative earnings. The boards were not just filled with touts pumping stocks; there were many sophisticated investors and connoisseurs of speculation skillfully dissecting every company filing. Every day was a cacophony of frenetic energy in celebration of rapidly expanding market caps while stocks doubled and split and doubled and split again. 2:1, 3:1, 5:1 !!! It was the glorious new age of human achievement both scientifically and financially which was accompanied by the melodies of Cole Porter wafting to the heavens.

And then the music stopped.

All were affected, even the soundest and most promising of businesses. MSFT, CSCO, INTC, DELL, ORCL, AMZN and others fell by 70, 80, 90% or more. AMZN was one of the quickest to rebound - 10 years! Some took 17 years, others just made it back in the last year, and many never did.

There are several seasoned veterans on this board as well as scores of fairly green investors (by their admission) but also multiples of mostly silent rank amateurs in the shadows.

I would hope that some of the battled-scarred old timers who lived through the tech collapse of the early 2000’s could share their experiences. And perhaps apply their wisdom towards how they might manage their portfolio should a similar occurrence revisit our shores.



Hi Vol - it’s an interesting ask.

Actually and not Saul here but in the knowledge area Saul has articulated how he coped with the 2 preceding financial meltdowns - the dotcom crash and the GFC.

I’m paraphrasing and potentially over simplifying but Saul handled them I guess to perfection which may or may not help your quest, by:

  1. Selling out at the top before the dotcom crash (thus preserving capital)
  2. In the GFC, redistributing capital from the least hit holdings to the most hit holdings at the bottom (thus enjoying an accelerated bounce back)

I’m not sure I have many happy endings from my dotcom experience - apart from AMD possibly. Denny and I definitely will not want to be talking about Global Crossing etc even to this day.

WRT GFC, actually apart from the scary volatility, it was in the end not a big deal for my overall portfolio once it had worked its way through - so I guess the main lesson from that was the importance of “holding power” and not be either on margin or leverage or needing to ever be a forced seller.