Many are quick to say that when it comes to investing little has changed in the 20 years since the crash. Who's to argue with such basic principles as buy low, sell high, don't fight the Fed, bargain hunt and take profits, dollar-cost average and diversification.
Twenty years later, however, Wall Street and the securities business are quite a bit different, particularly when it comes to technology and investment products. The Street's culture has even changed a bit.
As Scott Cohn reports, back in 1987, there was a sense of invincibility on Wall Street. Junk bonds were hot, LBOs were the rage and a generation of Wall Street kingpins -- from Ivan Boesky to Henry Kravis to Michael Milken -- had emerged.
But there's nothing like a crash to tame excess -- at least for awhile. Twenty years later, Wall Street is bigger, brasher and much more comfortable with the kind of volatility that seemed so earth shattering in 1987. Wall Street is now just one stage in a global market and the complexity of the system may be beyond our cumulative understanding.
If computer program trading seemed formidable in 1987, then the technology behind trading today is downright intimidating. Forget about MBAs in business and finance. Today, some says quants are the real players as well as the smartest guys in the room. Throw in the right software and you have a model for success and wealth.
As Melissa Lee reports, timing has always been everything on Wall Street and there's nothing like the right technology to make it even better.
If the history of rock and roll is all about derivative genius, then the smartest money on wall Street may be in derivatives. Though they once had a bad reputation, derivatives have worked their way into many a portfolio. Options are now an investors best hedge.
Options and futures were clearly a key dynamic the market crash of 1987, but there's been an explosion of products since then from ETFs to CDOs. What's more, the Internet has given access greater access to such market chestnuts as foreign exchange trading. Mary Thompson reports.