DOW 100,000 and our first Trillionaire
I remember where I was the day I heard someone had predicted a 10,000 DOW.
I was in Chicago’s OpCo office listening to sales manager Tom Parkins, a market guru — 1992-ish. The DJIA was sub 3,000 at the time, and not far removed from the ‘87 crash.
I had to go deep into Google to find the source of the 10k DOW prediction: a brash young man named Michael Dougherty, a broker at FBW in Baltimore.
People scoffed at the lunacy, but everyone talked about it.
It had taken 14 years to go from 1,000 to 2,000, and we all considered 3,000 to be a miracle. A DOW 10,000? That was just someone trying to make a headline, a 10K DOW was not going to happen in our lifetimes.
Except, it happened. Seven quick years later the DOW had gone from 3,000 to 10,000 (3/29/99). The market was in its Internet age and stock analysts were enjoying rockstar trappings, fawned over by firm execs and clients alike.
Hot Stock tips and access to top tier analysts like Michael Metz and Mary Meeker drove investors to expect more, better, bigger returns in their stock portfolios. The “Four Horseman” IB boutiques in Silicon Valley cranked out IPO after IPO.
Amazon, Yahoo and eBay all went public in the late 1990’s. Stockbrokers vied for a high syndicate index so they could hand out coveted IPO shares to their clients and prospects. FAs would put in for 100,000 shares and get filled on 1,000. It was a frenzy! The most powerful person in brokerage offices became whoever was running the syndicate allocations.
But then the music died. The “Dot Com” Bubble burst and fortunes evaporated, sometimes over night as “Hot Dot” stocks went belly-up. Henry Blodget, Merrill’s all-star analyst, kept his BUY recommendation on pets.com even as it was teetering towards bankruptcy. He had made his name by predicting Amazon would go to $400, a preposterous notion, which promptly came true, so if Blodget said a stock was a buy, you bought.
Pets.com went from its $11 IPO to $14 to 0.19 cents in something like two years. By November of 2000, it was toast. Shortly afterwards NY AG Elliot Spitzer banned Blodget from the securities industry for life, because Blodget knew what he was touting was actually crap, evidenced in emails that came to light.
Now we are at DOW 30,000. People were too busy making money to predict it. Every model is out the window. Oil sold for NEGATIVE dollars per barrel last summer. Wait, what? Unemployment was breaking records as Covid was grinding world economies to a halt, and yet the stock market shook it all off and went back to breaking records.
How? Interest rates went to zero, money became essentially free. A UHNW investor can borrow money for 150 bps! No wonder yachts and mansions and Tesla’s are flying off the shelves.
Remember the old 60/40 and 70/30 equities/bonds pie charts? Today most people are at 100/0, and the DOW is over 31,000 as a result.
So I am here to officially announce and predict that the DJIA will crest 100,000 and Jeff Bezos will be the first Trillionaire (if he doesn’t get remarried).
100,000 DOW? In my lifetime? Yes, because Elon Musk is going to invent a machine that slows cell deterioration and I will live to 120. But the DOW will triple, because it always does. Life is what happens along the way. Don’t forget to live.
Jeffrey Kane Bischoff
Old Greenwich Consultants, LLC