I started working in the investment business in 1976 and the stock market had been in decline for the two previous years. The market continued sideways to down for the next 6 years, culminating in the 1982 bear market bottom. Not the best time to be in the market, I sold a lot of utility stocks. I do remember in 1983, sitting around a table of friends at a luncheon club. I remember saying that the markets had just broken out technically and encouraged everyone to invest. Many were sceptical, however, the markets rallied over the next 4 years from 400 on the S&P 500 to around 700.
Billy LeCroy, a broker at the time in Seattle, wrote a response to this post on Facebook: “I was sitting with you at that table in 1983. You’re probably the best stock technician I’ve ever known. I went on to found an investment banking firm. Now retired and glad you’re still active.”
It was in 1987 that I advised clients to move out the stock market and the high yield bond market. Black Monday in October 1987, the market lost more than 20% in one day, pretty scary. The next bull market top came in March of 2000. I had just moved to UBS in January of 2000. My partner had just bought out his senior partner, who was retiring. He needed a “stock jock” and I guess I filled the bill. Only two months later I warned that the “tech bubble” was close to breaking. I advised my partner to move out of tech stocks and put the funds in small bank stocks and natural resource companies. Advice that was not taken. Here is a look at the tech bubble as it deflates: