Where It All Started

This photo was taken in Amsterdam, Netherlands over the summer, or as I commonly called it #SummerofEurope. So why do I say Amsterdam is “Where It All Started”? Well, for several reason. First, this was the first destination on #SummerofEurope. Why? Um, why not! Well there are several good reasons to start a European multi-city tour in Amsterdam; first, Schipol Airport, I should do a whole blog post on this airport and maybe will (yet I didn’t any photos of it!!), but in short it is easy to get to the city from via train (and wayy cheaper in terms of taxes than other popular arrival cities such as London).

Second, and most importantly, Amsterdam was the epicenter of Tulip Mania in 1637! What was Tulip Mania? Not the arrival of the famed British rock band The Tulips, but instead what is widely considered the first asset “bubble” of the modern economy. Yes, before tech stocks and real estate there were tulips, those pretty flowers that are flown around the world to fill bouquets and decorate houses naturally devoid of color. How did a Tulip Bubble get going? Well, I’m not a historian of the subject so I’ll keep to the high level. People liked tulips, prices of tulips started to rise, tulip dealers/growers devise ways to take future bets on the price of tulips (yes, tulip derivatives), people invest in tulip derivatives hoping to get rich, tulip prices rise and more people buy the derivatives, people suddenly realize they are just tulips after all, price of tulips collapse, macroeconomic collapse ensues. Yes, just replace houses, mortgages, tech stocks, or anything else for tulips and that last sentence works just fine.

Yes, Amsterdam is Where It All Started. Also proves a point, asset bubbles are part of human psychology, and they will keep happening. There is no “fix”, just do your best monitor and protect. If cab drivers are telling you to buy tech stocks, houses, or tulips, you should probably sell.

Click to Enlarge

20150528-20150528-Amsterdam Row

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