Here Are 2 Charts of the Craziest Bubbles of My Career

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Written by Brian Hicks
Posted February 15, 2023

I started my investment career almost 30 years ago, on August 26, 1994. That’s the exact date I started with a small, unconventional “media” firm that specialized in contrarian opinions about the economy, society, politics, and especially investments.

I was 25 years old and freshly out of graduate school. Bill Clinton was president and the U.S. was in a severe recession.

I graduated cum laude and was a member of the honors society with one of the highest-ranking GPA in my department. I was already a many-times-over published author, writing for many D.C. think tanks.

AOL was the only way to get on the internet in those days. The company where I worked had only one PC connected to the internet. And it was a dial-up. 

But things changed dramatically just 12 months later, in August 1995.

That’s when the internet browser Netscape IPO'd.


There was so much pent-up excitement about something new like an internet browser that Wall Street sent shares of Netscape from their IPO price of $28 to as high as $75 before closing at $58 on the first day. 

The internet mania was born — the biggest, most irrational bubble of I'd seen in my young career. 

From 1995–2000, the dot-com bubble was fueled by a speculative orgy of 20-somethings looking to become the next Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

There were more IPOs in the 1990s than in all of the 2000s and 2010s combined. 

Most companies that issued shares through IPOs during the dot-com era ended up being excessively overvalued. In 1996, 677 companies in the United States went public; this was followed by 474 in 1997, 281 in 1998, 476 in 1999, and 380 in 2000. And by 1999, 39% of all venture capital investments were for internet companies.

During this time, several of the most hyped tech companies ended up declaring bankruptcy, such as, 360networks, and That said, others managed to survive and enjoy phenomenal growth — enough to become some of the world’s biggest companies, including Amazon, eBay, and Cisco.

Crazy Bubble Chart No. 1

Here’s the chart of the dot-com-heavy Nasdaq from that period:


On the Nasdaq — an index that represents the greatest tech companies — both established and speculative stocks ran up over 400% from August 1995 to March 20, 2000, the exact top.

If that chart looks eerily similar to something more recent, that’s because it is.

Crazy Bubble Chart No. 2

Here’s a chart of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin over the last seven years:


Bitcoin was up 11,172% in about 5½ years — between 2016 and 2021.

But just like the dot-com mania of the late 1990s, the Bitcoin bull market gave birth to a speculative mania that created hundreds upon hundreds of different cryptocurrencies. Some were created as a joke but were nonetheless taken seriously by investors.

That’s a bubble!

Between November 2021 and November 2022, the entire cryptocurrency market lost over $2 trillion in value, wiping out the hopes and dreams of millions of investors. 

When the dot-com bubble popped, the Nasdaq lost an estimated $1.75 trillion in value. 

It would take roughly 15 years for the Nasdaq to get back to its March 2000 highs. The tech stocks bull market was dead. 

But this also opened up a massive opportunity in another asset class: natural resource stocks. 

You see, speculation didn’t stop once the dot-com bubble popped. It simply moved onto another asset class.

Take a look at this chart. This is the Gold Bugs Index versus the Nasdaq fom March 2000 through the beginning of 2008. The Gold Bugs Index tracks the performance of gold stocks like Newmont, Barrick Gold, and Yamana.

Goldbug chart OC

Around the Q4 2000 mark, the Gold Bugs Index began to diverge from the rest of the market. And then, basically, it was off to the races. Gold stocks never looked back.

As you can see, the Gold Bugs Index was up nearly 700% while the Nasdaq was down 50%.

Speculators, burned by internet stocks, began pumping their speculative capital into everything resource-based. Hard assets. Tangible assets. Things they could touch, see, and smell. 

It was back to basics: Investing in the foundations of civilization.

Here’s a 2000–2005 chart of Newmont Mining and Freeport-McMoRan (a copper, gold, and molybdenum powerhouse) versus the Dow:

OC Newmount Freeport

And it wasn’t just the big-cap names rising in value.

Speculative capital was spreading to smaller names where the returns promised to be even bigger.

Alamos Gold exploded up 567% in just 2½ years:

OC Alamos

NovaGold rallied 367% in 24 months:

OC Novagold

Seabridge scored a 1,220% gain in three years:

OC Seabridge

And the profits kept coming and coming.

Precious and industrial metals started a decades-long bull market. And it didn’t really matter when you started buying resource stocks in that period. It was a garden producing a bumper crop of winners for years. 

But it wasn’t just the metals.

Oil and natural gas stocks began their bull run too.

On the back of the idea that the world was running out of cheap, easy-to-get oil, companies operating in the tar sands in Fort McMurray in northern Alberta, Canada started to rally… and rally hard.

The best in class of Canadian oil sands companies is Suncor. Here’s a stock chart of Suncor’s performance between 2002 and 2008:

OC Suncor

Suncor’s stock ran from $8 a share in late 2002 to over $70 by 2008, for a gain of 775% within six years. 

Another oil sands producer, Canadian Natural Resources, ran up over 1,100% in the same period:

Even more dramatic, uranium company Paladin had one of the most explosive bull runs of any of the resource stocks:

OC Palladin

The company’s stock went from a paltry $0.10 to over $8 in little over three years, for a gain of 7,900%!

Many people made fortunes.. 

I know. I was one of them. 

And I’m here today to tell you it’s about to happen again in the natural resources market. That’s because the speculation that left the cryptocurrency markets will go back into hard assets, just like it did after the dot-com collapse in 2000. 

Speculative capital is pouring into gold, silver, uranium, copper, lithium, cobalt, rare earth minerals, oil, and gas. Everything necessary for the transition to a new energy paradigm is going to go up in the years to come.

Here’s a three-year chart of gold bullion:

OC Kitco

Gold is a safe-haven asset. The geopolitical scene is in turmoil with the Russia-Ukraine war, China's saber-rattling, the future of cryptocurrency in doubt as governments contemplate replacing them with their own “central bank digital currencies," and Americans at each others’ throats over gender identities, offensive language, race relations, income inequality, COVID hangovers, and a whole host of other cultural, social, political, and financial problems.

Some even argue the U.S. is on the verge of a second civil war.

That’s why hard assets — gold, guns, and groceries — will be in high demand for years to come. 

We are in the first inning of this commodities bull market.

I plan to take full advantage of it. And I want you there with me. 

Life is better among like-minded friends,

Brian Hicks Signature

Brian Hicks

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Brian is a founding member and President of Angel Publishing. He writes about general investment strategies for Wealth Daily and Energy and Capital. For more on Brian, take a look at his editor's page.

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