Gregory A. Nejmeh, CFA
Partners & President
To observe broadly monitored measures of anticipated market volatility, one could reasonably conclude all was calm, a serenity ushered in by stable and synchronized economic activity (the IMF earlier this month raised its global growth forecast), hospitable credit market conditions, and a certain geopolitical nirvana…a kumbaya moment among world leaders. NOT!
Today marks the 30 year anniversary of the October 1987 crash – a synchronized onslaught that saw the Dow decline over 20% in one day, leading a stampede for the exits within markets in all corners of the world. At the time, I was a young analyst at Shearson Lehman (Google it), and as my co-workers stood aghast staring at the communal Quotron (ditto above) that stood in the middle of the research floor, I wondered what it all meant – not an idle consideration with a two-year old at home and a newborn on the way. In the end, all turned out fine. The lessons learned, however, were of the most enduring value. The realization that markets can abruptly vacillate between greed and fear somewhat inexplicably; the importance to focus on the task at hand, as clients were looking to us for solutions; and the imperative to resist complacency at all times. Lessons that are as applicable today as they were three decades ago.
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