Stock market crash of 1929

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Stock market crash of 1929

Post  Ryu on Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:30 pm

Stock Market Crash of 1929
The 1920’s were a time of peace and great prosperity. After World War I, the “Roaring Twenties” was fueled by increased industrialization and new technologies, such as the radio and the automobile. Air flight was also becoming widespread, as well. The economy benefited greatly from the new life changing technologies.

As the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared, many investors quickly snapped up shares. Stocks were seen as extremely safe by most economists, due to the powerful economic boom. Investors soon purchased stock on margin. Margin is the borrowing of stock for the purpose of getting more leverage. For every dollar invested, a margin user would borrow 9 dollars worth of stock. Because of this leverage, if a stock went up 1%, the investor would make 10%! This also works the other way around, exaggerating even minor losses. If a stock drops too much, a margin holder could lose all of their money AND owe their broker money as well.

From 1921 to 1929, the Dow Jones rocketed from 60 to 400! Millionaires were created instantly. Soon stock market trading became America’s favorite pastime as investors jockeyed to make a quick killing. Investors mortgaged their homes, and foolishly invested their life savings in hot stocks, such as Ford and RCA. To the average investor, stocks were a sure thing. Few people actually studied the fundamentals of the companies they invested in. Thousands of fraudulent companies were formed to hoodwink unsavvy investors. Most investors never even thought a crash was possible. To them, the stock market “always went up”.
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Ryu

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