News & Research Archive

"Don't Worry Be Happy"

Oct 27, 2008

“Don’t Worry Be Happy”


As I get older I now get it about having experience over youth. When you have been around awhile you start living through cycles and you begin to understand how to do deal with cycles both the good and the bad.


In 1987 the world experienced Black Monday. The end of that day the brokers around my office thought that we were all out of business. One suggested that he would start selling apples on a street corner; another thought he would start selling snake oil out of the bad of his car. All silly but I can tell you were all scared. I started in the business in 1984 and my wife and I were just starting our family. We had just bought the out-of-reach house and we were used to a high income. I never expected there would be a downturn in my income potential. As it turned out there was none.



Below is a description from Wikipedia of that day and the following days afterwards? Does this look familiar?

In financial markets, Black Monday refers to Monday, October 19, 1987, when stock markets around the world crashed, shedding a huge value in a very short period. The crash began in Hong Kong, spread west through international time zones to Europe, hitting the United States after other markets had already declined by a significant margin. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped by 508 points to 1739 (22.6%).[1] By the end of October, stock markets in Hong Kong had fallen 45.8%, Australia 41.8%, Spain 31%, the United Kingdom 26.4%, the United States 22.68%, and Canada 22.5%. New Zealand's market was hit especially hard, falling about 60% from its 1987 peak, and taking several years to recover.[2] (The terms Black Monday and Black Tuesday are also applied to October 28 and 29, 1929, which occurred after Black Thursday on October 24, which started the Stock Market Crash of 1929. In Australia and New Zealand the 1987 crash is also referred to as Black Tuesday because of the time zone difference.)

The Black Monday decline was the largest one-day percentage decline in stock market history. Other large declines have occurred after periods of market closure, such as on Monday, September 17, 2001, the first day that the market was open following the September 11, 2001 attacks. (Saturday, December 12, 1914, is sometimes erroneously cited [3] [4] as the largest one-day percentage decline of the DJIA. In reality, the ostensible decline of 24.39% was created retroactively by a redefinition of the DJIA in 1916.[5] [6])

Interestingly, the DJIA was positive for the 1987 calendar year. It opened on January 2, 1987, at 1,897 points and would close on December 31, 1987, at 1,939 points. The DJIA would not regain its August 25, 1987 closing high of 2,722 points until almost two years later.

A degree of mystery is associated with the 1987 crash, and it has been labeled as a black swan event.[7] Important assumptions concerning human rationality, the efficient market hypothesis, and economic equilibrium were brought into question by the event. Debate as to the cause of the crash still continues many years after the event, with no firm conclusions reached.

In the wake of the crash, markets around the world were put on restricted trading primarily because sorting out the orders that had come in was beyond the computer technology of the time. This also gave the Federal Reserve and other central banks time to pump liquidity into the system to prevent a further downdraft. While pessimism reigned, the DJIA bottomed on October 20.


This period of bad and uncertain times will change for the better. The worst thing you can do as a salesperson is lose your optimism and your positive spirit. It’s what makes you a successful salesperson. You have the ability to accept no and figure out a way to find a yes. Breath through the nose you will get through this. Best advice that someone gave me and it is so important to live by today…concentrate on what you can control, not what you cannot. Figure out where there are opportunities in a down market not concentrate on the market being bad. Turn off the news; stop reading the newspaper; and, just work your plan. You will find that you will be better focused and much more positive concentrating your efforts on things that you can actually do something about.


Written by: Hans Hansson


Hans Hansson is President of Starboard TCN Worldwide Real Estate Services as well as a member of the Board of Directors for TCN Worldwide Real Estate. Hans has been an active broker for over 23 years in the San Francisco Bay Area and specializes in office leasing and investments. If you have any questions or comments please email or call him at (415) 765-6897. You may also check out his website,

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