Jason Zweig: A Long Chat with Peter Bernstein (in 2004)

Head over to Jason Zweig's website for a long conversation with late investment legend Peter Bernstein. 

Jason Zweig: A Long Chat with Peter Bernstein (in 2004)

 

One example of the many amazing anecdotes and pearls of wisdom that Peter shared:

"Q: You’ve often written that something important happened in September 1958. What was it?

A: [For the first time in history,] stocks began to yield less than bonds, and it was not something tentative. The lines crossed without any period of hesitation and just kept on going. It was just, zzzoop! All my older associates told me that it was an anomaly and it could not last. To understand why that happened and what that meant — and to recognize that what was accepted wisdom for a couple hundred years could turn out to be wrong — was very important. It really showed me that you don’t know. That anything can happen. There really is such a thing as a “paradigm shift,” when people’s view of the future can change very dramatically and very suddenly. That means that there’s never a time when you can be sure that today’s market is going to be a replay of a familiar past.

Markets are shaped by what I call “memory banks.” Experience shapes memory; memory shapes our view of the future. In 1958, younger people were coming in who had a different memory bank, who did not carry all that extra baggage of depression and world war and tariffs."