Remember the Poseidon boom in Australia in the late 1960s when some nickel stocks experienced spectacular increases in price? The best-known, Poseidon, rose from $1.85 on 26 September 1969 to its high of $280 on 10 January 1970. Some years later it went off the board. Its shares were worthless.
In 1969 I'd just come back from South West Africa, rejoined the ANZ Bank in Canberra and then gone to Papua New Guinea to escape the hand-to-mouth existence of a banking career. I was totally ignorant of the Poseidon boom but my new colleagues in the chartered accounting firm of Hancock, Woodward & Neill in Rabaul talked of nothing else - when they weren't drinking which was most of the time!
(Bechtel's postal address)
First out of sympathy and then as a convert, I spent what little money I earned on VAM and Kambalda shares which, after I had bought them at several dollars each, went down to just a few cents and then to nothing.
Are those early years called the formative years because during that time one forms one's financial base? Well, my shiny VAM and Kambalda share certificates weren't even pliable and absorbent enough for the most obvious use, which is perhaps why I still have a few of them today. As the saying goes: I started out with nothing and I still got most of it left.