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19 November 2021

Historical courses and appeals: do not look for the needle in the haystack, buy the entire haystack

Author: Luigi Campopiano


Sometimes it happens that in a week or so, it takes several recurrences with a meaning particular, and these days there are some very interesting ones:

December 2, 2001: we witnessed the bankruptcy of one of the largest American companies, Enron. He was one of the US-made energy giants earning in trading on the price differences between supply and demand in the energy sector. The price shares went from $ 20 to $ 90 per share from 1997 to 2000, and the rally seemed unstoppable. Too bad it was all false: market manipulation, accounting activities and inflated profits artificially, hidden debts, and losses in offshore companies. When the euphoria began to wane in the early summer of 2001, investors were reassured that the shares would soon reach $ 100. Too bad that at the end of 2001, Enron's shares were worth 30 cents. Many of the 20,000 employees had the pension funds that they had invested written off heavily in Enron shares;

December 5, 1996: the then president of the FED, Alan Greenspan, speaking at a conference of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, spoke for the first time of "exuberance irrational" (referring to the sudden, and relentless, rise in the markets). There The term soon became famous and has been used ever since when referring to periods historical in which the markets seem to rise without particular reasons but driven only by the desire to climb even higher;

December 11, 2008: the FBI arrested the financier and wealth manager Bernie Madoff, ex-director of the Nasdaq. In a few days, his colossal scam worth almost 65 billion dollars, designed with a colossal Ponzi scheme (it owes its name to an Italian immigrant in America in the early 1900s, consists in fraudulently promising high investors earnings that are paid not with the return on investments but with the money of new investors. The pattern holds, of course, as long as new customers are found; In the when, instead, the refunds exceed the new subscriptions, the system jumps), it was coming to the surface. Madoff is in prison today, sentenced to 150 years in prison.

To date, no Madoff can be seen on the horizon, even if the traps of the many advertisements for sites that sponsor online trading as an easy way to get rich should worry I savers. Instead, returning to Alan Greenspan, what we find in these days after the announcement of vaccines is that euphoria (irrational exuberance) that characterizes some sectors in particular in the lists, especially in the USA: stocks such as Zoom (the company whose platform of videoconferencing achieved notoriety this year due to the notorious pandemic) or Snowflake (data warehouse company) should make us think, given the astronomical assessments achieved. It would help if you were careful because, in these moments, less experienced investors overlook markets thinking of making a bang and getting rich quickly and often instead collide with the brutality of the markets. Always remember the number one rule in investing: DIVERSIFICATION.


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