Greatest economic opportunities in the last 32 years.

You get to travel back to 1980. You obviously want to use the opportunity to be financially comfortable but you can only take back 3 financial tips. It could be as specific as you want like “Buy TMCT @ $3 on 6 October 1991” or general like “Get out of housing and buy gold in late 2007/early 2008”. The only requirement should be that they are financial opportunities an individual can have. No buying the entire Disney Corp. In fact, it may have been difficult for the average person to get in on some of the better IPOs.

For me there was a little company called Amylin (AMLN) that was a penny stock back in early 2000s. They shot up to $18 when one of their drugs was approved. Today at over $30

Buying call options in MSO that expire after Martha Stewart’s sentencing. I made a few bills just dabbling in that. Imagine if I were serious.

It would take some further research but even if I don’t have houses to sell then rebuy during this financial crisis, I’m sure I could take advantage of some put options on banks and other institutions that collapsed. If not that, maybe the Worldcom & Global Crossing collapse.

If I traveled back to 1980 I’d be 13 and with very little money in the bank to invest.

Buy Apple stock. It IPO’ed in Dec 1980 at $22/share. After 3 splits, that makes it ~ $3/share, now trading at ~ $600.

That’s just off the top of my head. I’d spend some time on one of the financial sites and probably come up with some better ones. And maybe consider something like the longest shot sporting bet of that year.

I take it you mean we would be giving these tips to ourselves in 1980. At that time, I was in my 20s. Buying up gold would be a good one.

Maybe recommend looking up a college dropout named Bill Gates and trying to make friends, maybe finance him a little.

How about going to Las Vegas and making a bet on any number of occurences. Fall of the Soviet Union, year the first black president is elected. I’d get fantastic odds.

Buying up some AIG CDSs would have fetched a pretty penny. The Big Short has a discussion of a few people that made handsome fortunes doing that. And I don’t think it took particularly large amounts of capital.

Cornwall Capital turned $110k into about $200 million in a few years by shorting the sub-prime loan market.

Carmen: You can give yourself a tip for anytime between 1980 and 2012

John: Could the average individual get Apple stock during the IPO?

Sam: Vegas would be great. I think the Rams winning the Super Bowl were huge odds and maybe the Marlins and the World Series. Problem is the casinos often cap their payout so you may have to spread it around a bit.

Not exactly sexy, but if you’d picked up $10,000 worth of Walmart stock in 1980 and reinvested the dividends you’d be a multimillionaire today.

Cite for that

Also, shorting Enron at its peak would have been pretty good. Any company that you know for sure was going to fail, really.

I just read this (like an hour ago) and cannot find it now but it said if you invested $5,000 in Amazon when the stock first floated ('97?) it’d be worth $8 million today.

No. I only listed the IPO date because it just barely satisfies the 1980 criterion. You’d be buying it after the IPO.

why 1980? A term paper?

I’d probably go with a stock tip (maybe Apple, as already mentioned…I assume one could take back all the details on exactly what the market would do concerning Apple from 1980 to today), a real estate tip (same…so, figure out what properties would expand the most and when the market was at it’s high point to sell. I’m thinking there were plenty of such opportunities in California, and not sure when the real estate market crashed in Japan but if you could get in before that you could make a quick mint before the market went down), and then maybe just a general economic tip (i.e. something along the line of when the dot com boom started and when it crashed, and maybe some general tips on which companies did well).

I’m fairly sure I wouldn’t be optimizing my wealth opportunities, but I’m guessing I’d be a millionaire several times over by now, and that would be good enough for me.


Considering getting a mullet?

Moved to IMHO from Great Debates.

I’m not sure from exactly 1980, but from another arbitrary point - the 1987 stock market crash - Fastenal (FAST) is the best performing stock amongst “real,” non-pink sheet companies. Fastenal is a Minnesota based company that sells screws, bolts, and other fasteners.

Fastenal (FAST) - 38,565%, not including dividends
UnitedHealth Group (UNH) - 37,178%
Microsoft (MSFT) 9,906%
Apple (AAPL) 5,542%
S&P 500 - 506%

Those numbers are as of February this year, so they might be slightly different now.

Though, I’m sure it would have been possible to beat these returns by buying extremely out-of-the-money options prior to bankruptcies/buyouts - $2 puts on Bear Stearns, Enron, etc.

Just outta college 1989, attending a “Brass Ring” event at the Santa Clara convention center, walking up and down the aisles, I get to a noisy group of young people in front of their table begging passersby to drop off a resume. They are telling people you will most likely get hired, no matter your expertise, and expecially if you are a recent college grad. I ask what their company does and one of them tells me “we are an internet search engine”. I think to myself, young and idealistically, “nah, I want to do something in my field”, and pass them up without giving them a resume.


1999, right, snowthx? Yahoo! wasn’t started until 1994, incorporated in 1995.

Me? Buy the MSFT IPO in '84. Disney would have been a good buy in '82 as well.

Wouldn’t buy AAPL - you would wait too long for that to truly appreciate. $600 today, but from '80 to 2004 the stock was pretty much a loser.

Hmmm. Now you got me thinking. I always thought that company was Yahoo!, but clearly that cannot be. The date 1989 is correct, however. I recall it was a Silicon Valley tech company that eventually made it big. I will have to try and find out which one it was. Thanks for pointing that out!

Regardless, I always think of that fork in the road as a personal missed opportunity.