Posted by on Mar 29, 2020 in Articles & Advice, Blog, Books, Columns, Featured |

Image Credit: Frank Bellew, “Panic, as a Health Officer, Sweeping the Garbage Out of Wall Street,” The Daily Graphic, Sept. 29, 1873, Library of Congress



By Jason Zweig | March 28, 2020 12:00 am ET


How could a microscopic organism destroy nearly $15 trillion in global stock-market wealth in five weeks?

Until recently, many investors believed central banks and other policy makers had repealed the business cycle and that making money in the stock market was something you could take for granted — in much the same way that science and technology seemed to have beaten back diseases that had been the scourge of humanity for millennia.

Maybe investors a century ago and more had a wiser view. They believed the world was governed by unseen, omnipresent powers that could be appeased but never controlled — and that financial panics were a form of divine retribution for the sinful excesses of prosperity.

We shouldn’t regard market panics as quaint artifacts from the days of ticker tape and trading by telephone. Rather, they are forces that can be hidden or delayed but never eliminated. And believing that panics have become obsolete is a precondition for their recurrence.


To read the rest of the column:


For further reading:


Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor

Jason Zweig,The Devil’s Financial Dictionary

Jason Zweig, Your Money and Your Brain

Jason Zweig, The Little Book of Safe Money


Articles and other resources:

When the Stock Market Plunges…Will You Be Brave or Will You Cave?

For Investors, Dealing With a Loss of Control

Stocks Are in Chaos. Control the One Thing You Can.