August 8, 2012
Today 40 year veteran, Robert Fitzwilson, wrote the following piece exclusively for King World News. Fitzwilson, who is founder of The Portola Group, put together a fascinating piece which takes covers everything from Art Cashin, the 70s, and what the smart money is doing right now. Below is Fitzwilson’s piece.
“The great Art Cashin once said that he was counseled as a young man “not to plan for the end of the world as it is a one-off event”. As we try to divine our investment future, it is helpful to keep that sage advice in mind.
When I started my career in the early ‘70s, my singular goal was to graduate from a certain business school. It was the crowning achievement of my young life. Graduating in 1973, I took a job with an investment firm, eager to learn the business. Unfortunately, I parachuted right into one of the worst bear markets in history. It was so bad that we were forced to retreat to libraries to read books about how to invest.
The answer, though, was simple. Everything was going down. It did not matter what theory one employed. The Dow Jones had peaked in January of 1973 at 1067, and dropped like a stone to finally bottom out at 570 at the end of 1974. Needless to say, my eagerness and budding love of the business was greatly diminished.
I thought it was cruel that I had achieved the crowning achievement of my young life only to find out that the world was going to end. This was the age of the long gas lines. To even get gas, one had to have a friend who knew a friend. You then had to get in line, usually when nobody was looking….