Every decade seems wild; at least that's what old timers always say ;) But I don't think anyone quite expected the first decade of this millenium to be as crazy as it ended up being.
Politically, I think the decade was actually pretty calm and uneventful. Even with the 9/11 terrorist attacks in America, the decade wasn't as bad as some of the past ones. I would say the 90's was even more volatile with horrible genocides, collapse of various former Soviet countries, and so on.
However, the situation was completely different when it came to investing.
Depending on the measures you use, the first decade of this millenium will go down as the worst investment decade for investors—it's worse than the 1970's or the 1930's (but note that the 1929 crash happened before the start of the 1930's decade.)
I like lists so I thought I would mark down what I feel are the top 10 investment stories of the decade. Hope you guys & gals enjoy it. I only started investing, and following the markets closely, in the mid-2000's so my list might be a bit skewed to the last 5 years. Sometimes various events are related to each other and I decided to list them along with the key event. Feel free to discuss the list and perhaps add what you feel I missed.
It was a good decade to cut your teeth and learn investing... the first decade of the millenium only comes around once every hundread years so hope you found it interesting, if not entirely enjoyable :)
Top 10 Investment Stories
of the Decade:
- 1 -
Bursting of the TMT Growth Bubble
Might actually be the largest investment bubble in history...
- 2 -
America's Subprime Mortgage Crisis
Worldwide Credit Bust
Collapse of Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual, AIG, HBOS, Royal Bank of Scotland, Hypo Real Estate...
Not a conventional investment bubble... long-simmering credit volcano...repercussions to economies all over the world...subprime was the least of the worries but it'll be always known as that...
- 3 -
Rapid Growth of BRIC Countries
World Trade Boom
Riding a once-in-100-years trade boom, China rapidly rose to the top echelon in the world
- 4 -
Decline of the US$
How many in 2000 thought oil would hit $147?
- 5 -
Wireless Communications Revolution
Rise of Nokia/RIM/Motorola/Apple/HTC/etc and Decline of Traditional Telcos
Spectacular scientific advance on par with flight
- 6 -
Success of Internet Businesses (Social Networking (Facebook, myspace), Retail (Amazon, Ebay), Search/E-mail (Yahoo, Google), Media (YouTube), Numerous Others)
Collapse of Traditional Media
The 90's dot-com investors were sort of right; it's just that they were too early, way too optimistic, and didn't consider the potential impact on social relationships
- 7 -
Creation of the Euro
For the first time since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the US$ had serious competition in the global currency competition
- 8 -
Popularization of Hedge Funds
Hedge funds entered the popular vernacular... inaccessible to retail investors so direct impact was very minor on retail investors but greatly impacted institutional and wealthy investors (who own 90%+ of the stock market.)
- 9 -
Scandalous 2000's: Enron Scandal, Worldcom Bankruptcy, Tyco Scandal, Adelphia Controversy, Collapse of Arthur Andersen, Nortel Accounting Fraud, Numerous Others
Passing of Sarbanes-Oxley Act (aka Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act)
Fraudsters, cheats, and white-collar criminals thrive during booms and the bursting of the dot-com bubble revealed many for what they were...
- 10 -
GM, once the largest company in the world and an American icon throughout the world, declared bankruptcy and needed large capital injections from various governments to avoid total collapse. Still one of the largest companies in the world with revenues 3x more than Microsoft and more than 240,000 employees.