You don't have to be a rock star to go from signing autographs to receiving death threats. The perils of fame can also happen to those who live through some of Wall Street's biggest moments, such as the dot-com boom of the late 1990s.
"In a 21-month period, I went from occasionally being asked for an autograph to my life being threatened," said Paul Meeks, who led Merrill Lynch's technology investment unit during the height of the Internet stock craze.
The era remains one of the most notorious in Wall Street's history—with companies of all kinds attempting to harness and profit from waves of Americans gaining access to the World Wide Web from their home computers.
New technology start-ups were being born overnight, and from the biggest brokerages to folks in middle America, everyone wanted in.
Companies with little profits or revenues went public to much fanfare.
Amazon's Jeff Bezos was named Time magazine's "Person of the Year" in 1999 for "changing the way the world shops."
The euphoria catapulted stock prices higher, pushing the technology-dominated Nasdaq to its peak of 5,132.52 in March 2000.
Within Merrill Lynch, Meeks went to work creating six tech-based mutual funds, which, according to him, grew in value from zero to $8 billion in just under two years.
"Such a sum had never been built so quickly, at least at our firm, and it had a long history," he said Thursday on CNBC's "Halftime Report." "The Merrill Lynch Internet Strategies Fund raised $1.1 billion in three days of marketing before we shut off the spigot."