Finding the next Amazon.com, which first sold shares to the public 20 years ago this week, is hard. In fact, finding the last Amazon was hard, too. From 1926 through 2015, only 30 stocks accounted for one-third of the cumulative wealth generated by the entire U.S. stock market; Amazon was one. That’s 30 out of a grand total of 25,782 companies that were publicly traded over that period.
Hartford, Connecticut’s capital city and hub of the state’s insurance industry, is edging closer to joining a small club of American municipalities: those that have sought bankruptcy protection. Half of the city’s properties are excluded from paying taxes because they are government entities, hospitals and universities.
The stock market is very risky because it can fall 40% or more at any time. No one knows when crashes will occur, but there are times when markets are more likely to crash. Individual stocks are also very risky because any of them can crash – yet some far more likely than others. The risks of an individual stock or a major market decline can be measured. The measure of risks will not show you what the market will do, but it will give you a reliable indication of how much you may lose by investing.