My Recollection Of Black Monday

Posted: October 19, 2007 in Technology and Business
Black Monday.  Oct 19th, 1987.  The stock market crashed 22%.  Heady stuff, even at the ripe old age of 28.  Truthfully, doesn’t seem that long ago.  But it shook us all to the core.  I remember three things:
 
(1)  I was at a dinner that night when Ben Rosen, Top Dog VC at the time (Compaq investor), made the following toast:  "Here’s to the start of the greatest bull run in history!"  How right he was.  How courageous he was to say it.  It certainly made a much younger & less experienced Royal feel better.
 
(2)  While everyone says the indexes recovered rather quickly, it emotionally took the world many more years to feel comfortable with equity investing again.
 
(3)  In one of the only times I’ve ever shorted a stock, I shorted Microsoft a few days prior.  Not because I didn’t think Microsoft was a great company — it was bloody apparent even back then that they were a phenomenon — but because I simply thought it got a bit ahead of itself and was due for a normal, short-term correction.
 
So, for me, the Stock Market Crash of 1987 held mixed emotions.  I was certainly happy about the short… but the uncertainty-about-everything-else-deep-in-my-gut made it impossible to celebrate.  As in all volatile transitions, one gets back to one’s roots:  Head down.  Work hard.  Build something great.
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