Looking back to 1991

Looking back to 1991

We look forward not back 

Does your accountant seem obsessed with last year? If you want to legally pay less in taxes, you need a professional who looks forward. Relax Tax helps our clients focus on planning for a better future, and not the past. If we want to look back at anything, we thought it might be fun let our blog look back at what we learned in the last 50 plus years. You can get a FREE COPY of the entire guide at back.relaxtax.com. Now lets take a look at 1991.


1991 Big News Story

South Africa Ends Apartheid

The recession of 1990 continued on all the way until March of 1991. Housing prices followed suit, with the national average home price actually dropping back down to 1989 levels. Operation Desert Shield turned into Operation Desert Storm, with American-led forces bombing Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army into submission. Freddie Mercury, flamboyant lead singer of the rock group Queen, died in November.

Per USA Today

Apartheid was implemented in 1948 after the nation became independent from Great Britain. It was a legal system that institutionalized the separation of races and white dominance in economic and political affairs. The government banned intermarriage between races required people to be classified as white, black or colored, a classification for other races and people who were mixed-race. Blacks were required to carry passbooks and permits when entering white neighborhoods, and the best jobs, education and economic opportunities were reserved for whites.

1991 by the Numbers

Economic Data from 1991

Grocery Prices from 1991

Personally, 1991 was a very big year for me personally. I graduated from from Villanova University, I passed the CPA exam and I began my career at Ernst & Young. But the thing I remember most about 1991 was January 20th. That is because that was the day Merrill Lynch stole well in excess of $50,000 dollars from me. That is a lot of money for a college kid in 1991.

They didn't actually steal it, they just refused a few month earlier to take my business. Since there was no internet trading the Wall Street Companies really did what they wanted back then. I walked into their office in King of Prussia that fall with a check for $5,000. I wanted to open an account and purchase oil futures at the current market rate. I wanted to put the sell order in right as soon as it was completed for the full amount for January 20, 1991.

I told the individual that I would sign whatever they needed acknowledging it was a risky trade. I would gladly put in writing that I expected to loss the full $5000 so they would have no legal concerns. (Even though I would never sue, I didn't anticipate losing the money because it was such a sure thing. So much so that even a college kid could see it.) But what I remember most was how they were so arrogant back then. They could do what ever they wanted. So they said no way kid get out of here. Go away, we don't want you business, no one will let you trade oil future options without a well established account where you have a proven history.  Needless to say I have and will never do business with Merrill. 

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