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Isaac Newton, Lost $2.72 Million in the Stock Market, Still the Best Scientist

A little known fact about Isaac Newton is that he lost $2.72 million USD in today's money due to speculation in The South Sea Company stock in the 1720s.  As a result of this crisis, he stated "I can calculate the motions of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people." Thus, Isaac Newton was not a good investor, and Warren Buffett is not a well known scientist.  What will be Warren Buffett's next acquisition target?  Let us know of your thoughts.

By Samuel Chong
January 4, 2010

Los Angeles. A well known physicist and scientist in England, Sir Isaac Newton was also an investor, though not a great one.  A little known fact about Isaac Newton is that he lost 20,000 pounds ($2.72 million USD in today's money) due to his speculation in the South Sea Company stock in the 1720s during the bubble.  "I can calculate the motions of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people." is the quote on his abilities of calculation after the loss of his investment.  It is not clear whether his loss on the stock market was a monetary loss or an opportunity cost loss.

Warren Buffett, a well known investor, is not a recognized scientist.  He stays calm in the madness of people, but he is no match for Newton's contributions in science and physics.  Buffett read the Bible for at least three times, but "could not find the logics behind it."  Newton, on the other hand, believed that the world would end after 2060.

What will be Warren Buffett's next acquisition target?  Will he increase his stake in Wells Fargo? or will he purchase more Chinese shares?  We will wait and see, or Let us know of your thoughts.

We certainly hope that Newton's $2.72 USD million loss was an opportunity loss.  In memory of him, on his birthday, we certainly wish that he is well remembered for his contributions in science.

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