“God works in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform.
He plants his footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.”
—William Cowper (1731-1800)
I’ve always been fascinated with numbers and dates since I was a young man. For instance, there is the Fibonacci series, which forms the basis of the “golden ratio” in plants, paintings and architecture… and even in finance.
My goal is to live to at least my next Fibonacci number (guess what it is).
Today is my birthday, Oct. 19. It has a special meaning. It is, of course, the anniversary of the worst stock market crash in American history. On Black Monday, October 19, 1987, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 22.5%.
Six weeks before the crash, I gave a “sell all” stocks recommendation, and since the crash occurred on my 40th birthday, I’ve been known as the “crash” birthday boy ever since.
But there’s more. Oct. 19 is also the anniversary of the official end of the American Revolution. On that date in 1781, the Americans defeated the British at the Battle of Yorktown, officially ending the War of Independence.
Here’s another interesting historical fact: my wife Jo Ann and I were married on April 19, 1973. We didn’t know it at the time, but April 19 is Patriot’s Day, the anniversary of the beginning of the American Revolution. On that date in 1775, the battle of Lexington and Concord witnessed the “shot heard ‘round the world.”
It was like Jo Ann and I were meant to find each other. We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary this year.
Will wonders never cease?
The Year I Started My Newsletter
Dates are important. Islamic extremists hit the World Trade Center twin towers in 2001, the beginning of the new millennium. They chose September 11 (9/11) to send an “emergency” message that the West and our civilization were under attack. We’ve been under attack ever since.
In my own case, I began publishing my investment newsletter, Forecasts & Strategies, in 1980, the year Ronald Reagan was elected president. It was a pivotal year in the financial markets. The adoption of Reaganomics led to a 40-year-long bull market in stocks and bonds, and my career took off.
Here’s a strange phenomenon: I noticed that since the year 2000, you can easily figure out how many years I’ve been writing my newsletter. For example, in the year 2010, if you add 20 to 10, you get 30 years. In 2010, my newsletter has been around for 30 years.
This year is 2023. How many years have I been writing my newsletter? 20 + 23 = 43. You get the point.
At each annual FreedomFest conference, I encourage subscribers to buy an American eagle silver dollar in the year the coin is minted as a memorable way to record how long I’ve been writing Forecasts & Strategies. Next July, be sure to buy a 2024 American eagle silver dollar!
Writing an investment newsletter for 43 years is pretty unusual. Not many have done it. I can think of a few: Dick Russell’s “Dow Theory Letter” and Jim Dines’ “The Dines Letter”. I consider myself a survivor.
How long will I keep writing? My goal is to write a book in 2030 called “Fifty Years on Wall Street,” and maybe even keep writing until my next Fibonacci number. If I can stay in good physical and mental condition, I should be able to do it.
The Remarkable ‘Publication Date’ for My Book, ‘The Making of Modern Economics’
I’ve told the story of my struggle to produce my new history of economics, and how, in the end, Adam Smith and his “system of natural liberty” became the heroic protagonist of the storyline. My uncle Cleon Skousen played a key role when he said, “Mark, the Adam Smith invisible hand doctrine is inspired by God!”
You can read the whole incredible story here.
It look several years for me to write the book, and then a year or two for the publisher to work with me through various edits and changes. Finally, the publication date was selected, and guess what? It turned out to be March 9, 2001.
What’s significant about March 9? It turns out to be the same publication date as Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations” in 1776. And Adam Smith is the centerpiece of my book. Don’t ask me to explain it, but I saw it as a sign that my new approach to economics was inspired and would be a success.
It’s now gone through four editions since 2001. Want to know more? Go here and see why Richard Rahn of the Washington Times calls it “the single best book ever published in economics” and Milton Friedman said, “All histories of economics are BS — before Skousen!”
It continues to sell well. To buy it at a discount for only $35, go to www.skousenbooks.com. I autograph each copy and mail it for free inside the United States. It makes an ideal gift to students who want to know the real story of economic freedom. Order it this week, and I’ll date it with October 19, 2023.
Speaking of publication dates, our official release date for our new book, “There Were Giants in the Land: Episodes in the Life of W. Cleon Skousen,” was Sept. 17 — Constitution Day. Cleon would have liked that. Coincidence or fate?
Adam Smith, From End to Beginning
One final example of related dates: In 2005, I was on a cruise that went around the United Kingdom. William F. Buckley Jr. was on the same cruise celebrating 50 years of National Review magazine. I was invited to give a lecture on Adam Smith while the ship was in Scotland. The date was July 17 — the anniversary of Adam Smith’s death.
Then, this year, I was invited to speak at the Panmure House in Edinburgh on June 5 — Adam Smith’s birthday (born in 1723).
What goes around comes around.
Last Call! ‘Fireside’ Chat with Senator Mike Lee This Saturday
This Saturday, Oct. 21, Jo Ann and I will be speaking on our new book “There Were Giants in the Land,” the story of Cleon Skousen in his own words. Then we will hear from Senator Mike Lee on the topic “Who Will Save Our Inspired Constitution?” He will also update us on the situation in the Middle East.
It will be held at the LDS Church Building, 368 Aspen Hill Blvd., Saratoga Springs, Utah, 6:30 – 8 p.m. Space is limited. So, if you would like to attend, send your RSVP to Mimi Murdock at email@example.com.
‘How Austrian Economics Made me a Better Investor’
Last week, I was interviewed for an hour on “How Austrian Economics Impacted My Life” by Jacob “Bumper” Hornberger, president and founder of the Future of Freedom Foundation. It was a “People” magazine kind of format, where I identified 11 episodes in my life where Austrian economics played a critical role. It was a lot of fun. Watch it here.
You Nailed It!
Masterpiece Oil Paintings in Your Home or Office at a Fraction of the Cost
Over the years, I’ve bought some incredible oil paintings for my homes — “The Irises” by Van Gogh…. “Benjamin Franklin and the Ladies” by Norman Rockwell… “The Signing of the Declaration of Independence” by John Trumbull… George Washington crossing the Delaware…
I’ve even had oil paintings made of a historic picture of my wife and I, along with our son Tim, at Machu Picchu, Peru… and Santa Claus reading “The Maxims of Wall Street” on Christmas Eve…
And all of them were done at a reasonable price by talented artists commissioned by Prestige Fine Arts in Florida. Many of my oil paintings cost less than $10,000 each, a fraction of what it would cost to buy the actual masterpieces themselves.
Prestige Fine Art, run by my long-time friend Ed Mero, has been offering this service for over 30 years. Their talented artist will hand-paint any painting for you in any size, including everything from historical patriotic paintings to Van Goghs and Monets, as well as photographs you want to memorialize in oil. He employs fine artists (and even skilled forgers!) to recreate masterpieces, stroke for stroke. (This is perfectly legal, as long as the copy is not the same size as the original.)
Ed has written a beautiful book on his experience with art collectors. The book also contains 400 color plates of paintings his artists have created. The book is available on Amazon.