Irving Kahn is a centenarian and a Wall Street institution in his own right. Few investors can lay claim to have witnessed the vicissitudes of the markets as he has – he was right there in the thick of the 1929 crash – bearing witness to the folly, greed and fear of investors as the Great Depression struck.

Irving Kahn: "Great Enthusiasm In A Company Is A Sign Of Great Risk"

In a study of contrasting investor behavior, in 1929, Irving Kahn went against the herd and shorted a copper company, whereas his father loaded up on AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) stock with his life savings of $2,500.

Greed and fear – they never change

In about four months, Irving Kahn’s $300 bet doubled in value. His father? “It was about 18 years before he got his money back,” recalls Kahn.

“The plot of the play is always the same, it’s just the characters that are different,”

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