Tag Archives: Louis Rukeyser

Black Monday: Stock Market History Lesson #2

DJIA (19 July 1987 to 19 January 1988).

DJIA (19 July 1987 to 19 January 1988). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 25th anniversary of Black Monday just passed on October 19. Wow, 1987.  It doesn’t seem like that much time has passed, however, I will note some changes later in the post.

In 1987, I was a stockbroker and had already been a Registered Representative for three years. We didn’t call ourselves “financial advisors” or “wealth managers”. We were salespeople.

In fact, this was so long ago that I worked for the “white-shoe firm”, Dean Witter, then a member of the Sears Financial Network. “Buy your stocks where you buy your socks”, as the saying went. And yes, I did get a great account from a Boeing retiree who came in to buy socks for his grandson, who gave me his address before leaving the store. Then I sent him a letter , we talked, we met, then he wrote Dean Witter a check.

Dean Witter logo under Sears ownership ca. 1984

But I digress,

  • Being the only one with a [self-purchased] PC on my desk at my office (I also had a cell phone then, but that is another story)
  • Answering incoming telephone calls ALL day back to back
  • Placing trades to buy stock-the Nordstrom trades come to mind first – “After all, Dana, you said to buy low, I guess this would be the day”
  • Virtually holding people’s hands over the telephone (a large black instrument with a cord and buttons) so they would be comforted and reassured that the world wasn’t coming to end that day
  • Not revealing how nervous we were to our clients
  • Reading all about it in the newspaper, the rest of the week
  • Watching Louis Rukeyser on Wall Street Week, afterwards
  • How quickly the market bounced back, setting new highs in spring of 2009

It was, indeed, a different world. I am fortunate to have worked for another firm from 1988-1990 that required its’ “investment executives” to study for and obtain the CFP(R) certification. (Certified Financial Planner)

I do not sell individual stocks, and am not recommending any securities/companies mentioned in this post. My business is that of a fee-only financial planner. In my case, this means I receive compensation solely from my clients. [I have been known to give to public television and radio, but am not soliciting for those either. ]


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Filed under History, Learning About Finance