By Andrew Beattie

As hindsight is always 20/20, we should take the time to highlight what we can learn from these past tragedies.

First off, we should point out that most market volatility is all our fault. In reality, people create most of the risk in the market place by inflating stock prices beyond the value of the underlying company. When stocks are flying through the stratosphere like rockets, it is usually a sign of a bubble. That's not to say that stocks cannot legitimately enjoy a huge leap in value, but this leap should be justified by the prospects of the underlying companies, not just by a mass of investors following each other. The unreasonable belief in the possibility of getting rich quick is the primary reason people get burned by market crashes. Remember that if you put your money into investments that have a high potential for returns, you must also be willing to bear a high chance of losing it all.

Another observation we should make is that regardless of our measures to correct the problems, the time between crashes has decreased. We had centuries between fiascoes, then decades, then years. We cannot say whether this foretells anything dire for the future, but the best thing you can do is keep yourself educated, informed, and well-practiced in doing research.

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