The Beer and Internet Stock Story

Humorous lesson on risky and high-flying investments.

In the late 90s I lived with two friends in an apartment off campus from our university. These guys couldn't have been more different. Dave was a go-getter, always studying, saving his money, talking about the stock-market, etc. Steve, on the other hand was a lazy sloth who would sit around the house all day drinking beer and watching re-runs on tv.

At the end of the year, we got our security deposit back and moved into a suite on-campus for the summer and the next year. We all got about $750 back. Dave took the money and invested it in some Internet stock we had never heard of. No one had heard of the Internet in those days and we figured he would lose the money, but hey, it was only $750.

Steve decided to use the money to buy a case of his favorite beer for every month so long as the money would last.

Over the next year, something amazing began to happen with Dave's investment. It doubled, then doubled again, and then doubled one more time. I was amazed that his initial $750 was now worth $3,000 and climbing fast. Dave, of course, belittled us for our short-sighted behavior and lack of business acumen.

Steve though, could care less. He drank through case after case of beer and when I asked him if he felt any regrets for not following Dave, he would belch and say: "Hell no." I didn't believe him. How could he not regret not investing? He would have had beer for life.

The year ended and Dave's investment was now worth over $5,000. Steve had drunk his way through about half the money.

We all went our separate ways after graduation. Six months later we met at a bar to catch up. Dave brought up the money. His little investment was now worth over $10,000 and still climbing. He was ecstatic and I didn't blame him. I kicked myself for not investing. Steve didn't seemed fazed by Dave's results and calmly told us he had almost finished with the beer money.

Six months after that we got together again. Dave didn't bring up the money but I asked him about it. He was quiet for a minute.

"It's gone." We had all heard of the Internet stock meltdown but I figured he had gotten out. "It's actually not totally gone. It's worth about $25."

Steve looked at us and pulled something out of his jacket pockets. There were three beers.

"I've been saving these for you guys. The last of the kitty. I really enjoyed that $750 bucks and you wouldn't believe what happened. I saved all of my cans and finally brought them to the supermarket the other day. When I handed them in they gave me back $95."

He twisted the cap and took a swig.

"Sure tastes better than an Internet stock."

Sol Nasisi
Sol Nasisi: Sol Nasisi is the co-founder and a past president of BestCashCow, an online resource for comprehensive bank rate information. In this capacity, he closely followed rate trends for all savings-related and loan products and the impact of rate fluctuations on the economy. He specifically focused on how rates impact consumers' ability to borrow and save. He also has authored a wee

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Comments

  • Anonymous

    June 22, 2007

    That's pretty hilarious! Is this a true story?

  • Anonymous

    June 22, 2007

    I am sure it is true. This is a hilarious and soft look at a period that was very sad and painful for many. Dave was young enough to recover that small investment. Many people lost fortunes in "some Internet stock we had never heard of."

  • Anonymous

    June 23, 2007

    One moral of this story is that everything in life relates to timing and not being too greedy. At some point before the crash, Dave should have said - "I can sell this junk and now drink Hoegarden or Leffe for the next 5 years."

  • Anonymous

    June 23, 2007

    great story!

  • Anonymous

    June 23, 2007

    Nice post. Not sure whether it is true, and if not it is very creative. Bravo.

  • Anonymous

    June 24, 2007

    Classic!

  • Anonymous

    July 03, 2007

    I guess your friend wasn't holding Yahoo.

  • Anonymous

    July 06, 2007

    Great article whether it's true or not!

  • Anonymous

    July 12, 2007

    This is absolutely hilarious!

  • Anonymous

    July 12, 2007

    Give me a break. This is a bullshit story.

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