10 Spectacular Speculations from The Great Financial Adventures of the Past 300 Years

Sometimes it seems like the investment community operates on the assumption that the world started in 1929 – or at least that the financial booms, busts and speculators preceding the 1920s are irrelevant to the modern investor. We think this is misguided. Just consider that this common worldview ignores an age where speculators lived in sprawling mansions on Fifth Avenue (as opposed to apartments in the same place measuring about 1/100th the size)! We imagine that there’s a lot to learn from looking at the past 300 years as opposed to the past 80. With this in mind; here we present what we believe to be the best trades of all time:


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10 Amazing Trades from the Past 300 Years

The 10 Greatest Trades of All Time?

See here for our collection of rare historical economic data.

Posted Jul 21, 2012
  • Craig M.

    Would suggest you replace Charles Yerkes with Russell Sage aka “The Money King”.  Sage made huge profts in both the Panics of 1873 and 1893.  Sage died wealthier than J. Pierpont Morgan.

  • Greshamslawcom

    Another fantastic speculation brought to us courtesy of Hugo Salinas-Price, Founder of the Asociacion Civica Mexicana Pro-Plata A.C (to name just one of many things!):

    Late 60′s I convinced my Dad that the dollar would have to be devalued, no two ways about it, and convinced him to shift $500,000 US from his B. of A acount to a Swiss Bank, and to purchase gold, @ about a bit more than $35 oz. This he did, and together we watched events unfold. In 1980, after the peak, he sold out for $10,000,000 US and invested in US Bonds. I was very pleased to be able to help my Dad. Hugo

    You can read articles by Hugo here (notably this one on “Gold: The Generator and Protector of Jobs”).

  • jim nazyum

    Notice these guys plunged when things were stretched way out of proportion in one direction.


  • Graham Reinders

    I suspect the game is more rigged now than ever before. When it was open season on everything, like the wild-west, it was more fair than now, everybody was cheating so hard it became almost fair. Now there are so many rules and regulations that those with asymmetric information can kill the rest.

    These great men were essentially “insiders” in the big league. Nothing has changed they are all doing very well still. It is we the little guys who are always, and still, being fleeced. We are the ones deluding ourselves. The Jekyll Island insiders always win no matter which way things go. Our mid-tier of hedge fund managers, Pension managers, Investment managers are nowhere near the big league. A manager handling 100Billion in a 500trillion Derivatives market is small potatoes and playing Monopoly with our money and hence in mortal danger.

    The money managers are playing in a rigged game and, like in all things, half of them are the bottom half of the class and will lose it all. At this juncture in history the money managers are all Gambling. Its Red/Black. Those that are shifting their bets from red to black by the micro-second will stay marginally ahead of the house. Those that think they have “investments” will lose it all.

    I am of the opinion that there is going to be a Paradigm System Shift that negates all the “players” in the present construct, thereby leaving the Jekyll Island Crew holding the future.