Follow the Yellow Brick Road?
By Ric Edelman
Back in 1999, when the dot-com bubble was nearing its peak, we found ourselves trying to convince some clients not to buy tech stocks and the mutual funds that invested solely in them. It was often challenging, because many of those investments were posting gains of more than 100% per year — and many clients wanted in on the action.
No, we steadfastly insisted, the price increases were unsustainable and merely reflected a mania. (And not for the first time; market manias have been documented many times, dating all the way back to the Tulip Craze of 1634.)
We reached the pinnacle of absurdity when we saw a sign on a telephone pole encouraging people to buy stocks. Things have surely gotten out of hand when marketers start advertising along roadways, we figured.
We were right, of course; within months, the tech bubble burst, and by 2002 the NASDAQ fell 78%. Many tech stocks disappeared entirely, never to return.
Are we seeing the same thing again, only this time with gold? See the photograph, snapped not long ago by a member of our staff, and you decide.
Originally published in Inside Personal Finance August 2011