Begin To Invest Daily – February 18th – Birthday of Charles Schwab, Great Depression Volatility

Quote of the Day

”I’ve thought the whole thing over, and if we are going bust, we will go bust big.”

– Charles M. Schwab of Bethlehem Steel on his plan to build a new steel mill to produce steel beams in the shape on an “H”. The design would later turn into the “I” Beam.

Hence, the company’s logo:Bethlehem_Steel_logo


This Day in Stock Market History


Charles_SchwabFebruary 18th 1862 – Birthday of Charles M. Schwab (2/18/1862 – 9/18/1939)
American entrepreneur who started his career with Carnegie’s steelworks and who later pioneered Bethlehem Steel. ( He is unrelated to the Charles W Schwab of the brokerage today.)

The company would become a major name on Wall Street as WW1 and WW2 produced massive steel orders. One such run up is featured in the book “It Was a Very Good Year” in which the price of Bethlehem steel shot up over 70 points in 10 days, and rising from 88 to 117 on April 9th.


With his leadership Bethlehem steel would become the second largest steel company in the world, and his idea of the “H” Beam would revolutionize the building of skyscrapers.

He would amass a wealth of nearly a billion dollars (adjusted for inflation), before dying in debt in 1939. He was an avid gambler, was known for his extravagant parties and extra-marital affairs.

A great, short biography of Schwab is available here.




Best February 18th in S&P 500 History:

2003 – Up 1.95% or 16.28 points


Worst February 18th in S&P 500 History:

2000 – down 3.04%


Best February 18th in Dow Jones Industrials History:

1932 – up 3.51% or 2.89 points.

 (In case you have missed the last few “This Day is History” posts… We are at the anniversary of a very volatile time in the great depression. To recap this stretch in 1932: Feb. 11th – up 9.46%, Feb 13th up 9.19%, Feb 15th – Down 4.24%, Feb 16th Up 4.34%, Feb 17th – Down 4.09%, Feb 18th – Up 3.51%…quite a wild ride)


Worst February 18th in Dow Jones Industrials History:

2000 – down 2.81% or 295 points



Chart of the Day

Another big day for oil:

(Chart from QZ.com)


Today’s Links

  • “Oldie but Goodie” – Charlie Munger’s Speech in 1995 at Harvard “Psychology of Human Misjudgement
  • Life Insurance Made Easy – As a Financial Planner myself, this is always a big topic for clients. And most are surprised to find just how cheap life insurance really is when you take out the “variables” and “wholes” and the salesmen. Here, NY Times financial blogger has a simple 2 step action plan to make sure you are covered.
  • Winter 2016 “Graham and Doddsville” – Specifically, the interview with Shane Parish of Farnam Street Blog

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