One of the odder financial bubbles we saw in the last century was caused by a bout of temporary insanity in the 1970's over a group of the biggest and best American corporations. The so-called Nifty Fifty were, for a while, promoted as the must have, long term buy and hold stocks. And with a certain pleasing inevitability the stocks soared and then, in strict adherence to the law of financial gravity (and very grave it is, too), plummeted. Another mental meme dashed against the rugged rocks of reality.
Only this story isn’t so simple, because the Nifty Fifty weren’t a bunch of story stocks flung high by the whim of investors’ irrational exuberance. They didn’t just disappear having made their owners very rich and their shareholders poorer, and no wiser. The afterlife of the Nifty Fifty tells us an interesting story about the nature and durability of quality in the stockmarket: quality plays, if you understand the rules of the game.