A slight twist on a Steely Dan tune there. It mightÂ seem like I’mÂ dating myself a bit with that kind of reference, but I’m actually a little bit young to have been a fan of that band back in their heyday. I did hear their music via my father’s choice of tunes, though, and developed a taste for it myself later on.
But I digress.
Twenty-two years ago today the event that commitment me to the markets took place – Black Monday 1987. I was a freshman in college at the time. I was in and our of classes, so I couldn’t exactly follow events as they unfolded, but it was pretty clear from the updates I did get that something dramatic was happening.
Two things about Black Monday were what drew me into the markets once and for all as a trader. The first was seeing the absolute bargains that stocks like IBM and Dow Chemical became because they’d lost literally half their value in that one day. I’d long been a holder of Dow stock in a dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP) so I knew about how that stock traded. The way the market cut the price by 50% made absolutly no sense to me. Had I had a trading account at the time (I was still only 17) I would have been a buyer. That motivated me to open up my first account a couple months later when I was old enough to do so. I’ve been trading ever since.
The second thing Black Monday did was really drive home for me that there was something interesting in these financial markets. I had entered college planning on pursuing a degree in computer science (I’d been programming for years), but that didn’t last. Not that I immediately decided to have a career in the markets, mind you, but I did start learning all I could about trading and the markets from that time on. It clearly put me on the path (a winding one to be sure) that I’m traveling today.
What about you? Did Black Monday have any impact on you? For that matter, have there been any particular market events which have defined orÂ changed the course of your trading?