In 1990, the Internet became legal for the general public to use.
You may not remember this, but up until that point there were very few entities that had access to the Internet. It was primarily used by governments, universities, and private companies.
In 1994, Netscape Communications was born and Microsoft created a web browser for Windows called Internet Explorer. In 1995, I graduated from Baruch College and started working at a company called Spear, Leeds & Kellogg.
At the time, Spear Leeds was the largest market maker on the New York Stock Exchange. They were also the largest market maker on the American Stock Exchange, where options are traded.
After a year in their trader trainee program, I started working full time in their NASDAQ trading division, which was called Troster Singer.
The NASDAQ market is dominated by technology companies. Although I didn’t know it at the time, it was one of the best places I could have been.
Think about it. I started working there five years after the Internet became legal. One year after the first browser was invented.
I was in a situation that most people dream about, but will never experience. I was there to witness the beginning of what would become the biggest medium of my lifetime.
There are only two other places that could have been more advantageous at the time:
1. Being a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley
2. Being an investment banker taking these technology companies public
Number three on that list would be me: working on a trading desk, watching companies that would go on to become some of the greatest investments of our time go public, namely eBay (NASDAQ: eBay), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Priceline (now Booking Holdings, NASDAQ: BKNG), and Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL).
Of course hindsight is 20/20. But that doesn’t change the fact that I was there!
There are many components to capturing wealth. There are three conditions in particular that are very important:
- We must first be present when the opportunity is presented.
- We must see the opportunity – if not through our eyes, then through the eyes of others. This requires paying attention, reading, and listening to what others are saying.
Finally – we must act!
Unfortunately, there will be no alarm going off. You will not receive an email or text message proclaiming “This is the opportunity of a lifetime!”
Look around you today. Look at your workplace. Look at the products and services you use. Listen to the people around you and to the news. Are there any companies or sectors that strike you as good investments over the long term?
Develop a habit of paying attention. In this way, you are more likely to be conscious and aware of circumstances in which you happen to be in the right place at the right time.
You may very well be at the right place at the right time NOW!
Click the image of the book at left to be taken to its Amazon page. (Disclosure: As a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, I earn a small commission on each sale generated through these links.)