I was on my way to the workbench in the basement of our home in western Connecticut. That is where I stow a bag of flashlights of different sizes and types for use in an emergency.
This was in preparation Friday morning for the arrival of Winter Storm Nemo, which somehow morphed cross genders into Blizzard Charlotte by Saturday morning.
To get to the work area, I had to pass what I call my Newspaper Museum. Famous front pages from times past, framed and hanging in a row on the wall. These range from the assassinations of the two Kennedies to the first landing on the Moon to the Crash of ’87.
One page jumped out. The front of a Boston Globe. Headline: “Worst Storm of the Century: 17 die … record high tides … up to 4 feet of snow … winds gust up to 125 mph … highway traffic banned.”
If that wasn’t ominous enough, I checked the dateline: February 8, 1978. Thirty-five years ago, to the day.
Coincidence? Perhaps. But by the next morning, 21 inches of snow had been deposited on my home and yard. Milford, CT, got 38 inches.
Which brings to mind another seeming coincidence (see "Take Stock. Now."). The S&P 500 has crossed 1,500, again. For the third time.
Not to be ominous, but the first time this happened, the dotcom bubble was already in progress and the benchmark would lose 45% of its value by February 2003, exactly 10 years ago.
The second time it happened, was in May 2007. By October 2008, it reached 1,549.
The credit crisis was already in progress that time. And the index lost more than half its value by the end of February 2009. Four years ago.
So, let’s celebrate, for now. Be happy that investors are putting money back into stock funds for the first time in years and seem to be finally ready to take on some risk.
But, if past is prelude to the future, you should get ready for the next storm, now.