I recently sat down with a good friend.
I hadn’t seen him in a while.
He likes to speak his mind. He says what he sees.
Overtime I’ve come to admire the person you have to be to take that on. We are taught to care and empathize with those around us sometimes to the point where the situation we’re in changes who we are to better fit those involved. My friend does not give a f*ck about that. He’s going to be himself and say it straight.
All the time.
The two of us walked the streets of Manhattan for several blocks. We walked up Broadway Ave, we even went up Seventh Avenue, and I think Eighth. I’ve been in New York City for two years now and I find myself strolling various streets with different people at different hours and for different reasons. I suppose that’s what the big city is. A place to work, a place to meet, a place to embrace anything positive especially if it’s about friendship.
Eventually we found ourselves at an Irish restaurant.
Do you remember Beanie Babies? I sure do. Strangely enough they hit their peak right around the top of the DotCom Bubble. Do you know what a Funko doll is? At ComicCon, I saw them first hand when a high schooler with wild frizzy hair, braces, and a red brimmed sun hat showed me a bag worth $1,000 in Funko dolls.
I’ll tell you a story.
During the DotCom boom, there were a number of companies coming around town. They offered things like a website to read articles that said, “Buy This Stock Now”. There were also brokerages and new banks walking onto the scene. But one company in particular interests me. It’s what we talked about. That company is Motley Fool.
Motley Fool is still around today. Perhaps you know because you subscribe to their products or because you come across their links when they cover a stock you personally own. The Motley Fool was booming all through the 90s.
Offices in Japan and all over the globe.
They were in the WSJ, the New Yorker, Bloomberg, and AOL when it was the Internet connection to have. Dial it up!
In 1997, Motley Fool appeared on PBS Frontline. Young kids, crazy stock picks, and images of a Wall Street punk revolution graced the TV screens of America. They were practically described as a company run by Wall Street renegades giving out stock picks online to anyone who wanted to read. Bloggers before bloggers were really even a thing. Anyone can have these stock picks as long as you click the ads.
Maybe it was coincidence or maybe it was a symbiotic relationship. While Motley Fool was booming, so was the stock market. The Motley Fool had this investment theory. It was called the “Foolish Four”. The tagline was genius for the times. It said:
“CRUSH MUTUAL FUNDS IN ONLY 15 MINUTES PER YEAR”
Motley Fool had positioned themselves as the gatekeeper of this booming market. Or the mascot. Whichever, it was a perfect play. They offered a service, they told their story, and they stuck to it. Many later learned the Motley Fool’s practices and picks weren’t as good or as easy as a blog post could describe. The market came crashing down in 2000, 2001, and 2002. Everyone took a big hit.
Today, the Motley Fool employs over 200 people. They run three mutual funds and have an entire asset management arm. They hire CFAs, market analysts, and team of writers and programmers.
I tip my hat.
What an accomplishment.
And what a story I learned with my friend that sunny day in November at an NYC pub. I think it was still humid out, though. Weird how long humidity can linger in this city.
I’m not telling this story to encourage everyone to build a stock market service. Or to try and copy them. I’m telling this story because there will be another opportunity to seize. Booms come and go. But only once in a generation do you get widespread mania and euphoria spread among the masses over a long period of time like the DotCom days or to some degree what happened with Bitcoin.
The Motley Fool was ready. They built something and grew into that moment. They gave people what they wanted and they did it passionately. Then, as sudden as sudden can be imagined, they were there to seize the opportunity when things really got wild. When the proverbial music was blasting as loud as it could go.
Whether they were wrong or right is an entirely different story. These opportunities do not come around often. It could be in any field, too. Maybe you’ve been growing pot you’re entire life — look what’s happening right now with legalization. These moments happen, and when they do, you should be ready.
The millennials are one of the largest age groups in America. They are growing and they are rising through the ranks with promotions as we type. They also are set to receive the biggest inheritance packages ever. It so happens that we’re also in the midst of one of the biggest bull markets.
Where will you be when the next boom happens?