No one in the late ’80s truly understood what any of the technology
firms would produce before their boom and growth. The equity markets
looked like a perilous place to speculate about the future. People had
come back down to earth and were looking for a traditional method to
accumulate wealth. They wanted something tangible, something familiar
and certainly easily understood. Real estate seemed perfect. It was
among the most tangible of all assets and historically one of the safest
investments. Or so it seemed.
In the blink of an eye, the American consumers, companies and investment markets shifted from an investment practice and equity-oriented philosophy that had characterized the dot-com era to a debt-fueled runaway train with no brakes.