Young Bulls And Old Bears

“Two things have always been true about human beings. One, the world is always getting better. Two, the people living at that time think it’s getting worse” – Penn Jillette

What do Bill Gross, Sam Zell, Jeremy Grantham and Carl Icahn have in common? They’re all old, they’ve all had brilliant careers, and they’re all bearish on the stock market.

Whether it be in music or in stocks, the prior generation never thinks “kids” will ever measure up. Even Benjamin Graham- the man who basically invented value investing- fell victim to the “get off my lawn syndrome.”

From Roger Lowenstein’s Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist. 

I am no longer an advocate of elaborate techniques of security analysis in order to find superior value opportunities. This was a rewarding activity, say, 40 years ago, when our textbook “Graham & Dodd” was first published; but the situation has changed

Young bulls and old bears is as old as the hills. In Ten Years In Wall Street- which was published in 1870- William Worthington Fowler wrote “Wall Street operators commence their career as bulls, and finish it as bears.”

It’s tough to pin down the root cause of this metamorphosis, but get used to it. The old man screaming “the world is going to end” has always been here and he always will be.

Full Disclosure: Nothing on this site should ever be considered to be advice, research or an invitation to buy or sell any securities, please see my Terms & Conditions page for a full disclaimer.