Newton was a great mathematician; not that alone, his view in many other scientific topics of study, is widely respected. Such a man for many of us was all failure-proof, as if, like God, he was omniscient. Even such a colossal man, was subjected to greed and fear, of stock market, and astonishingly, failed at the stock-market miserably. He lost as much as £20,000 which, in 1720, amounted to almost all his life’s savings. Thus, what gravitation gave him, stock-market took away from him!!!!!!. This prompted him to add that he could calculate the movement of stars, but not the madness of men. We may have to learn everything from Newton, the great mathematician, but hardly anything, to win over greed and fear of life, especially the kind that drives the stock market world over. It is almost a sin to believe so, never the less, it is true.
In 1720, he bought stocks, of South Sea Company, the hottest stock in England. Newton sold his South Sea shares after buying at a much lower price, pocketing a 100% profit totalling £7,000. Stock price continued to grow, he saw with it, unlike him, his friends’ wealth growing, at this Newton became greedy, jumped back to buy same stocks at a much higher price, soon after price of stocks started to fall, till fear compelled him to sell – and thus lost £20,000 in the process. For the rest of his life, he forbade anyone to speak the words ‘South Sea’ in his presence.” In the words of Lord Overstone, no warning on earth can save people determined to grow suddenly rich. I have collected and given below the graph, of rise and fall of his wealth in this particular stock-market.
I don’t know how it strikes you but for me, it struck me as a shock, for, the man who taught us gravitation, laws of motion etc was nothing short of the GOD; he was expected to be infallible, but turned out to be no better than common man. The fact that he also had greed and fear like us, I cannot digest it, shocking really!!!.
This is an appropriate place to mention that making money is central to our existence, all starting from different sources ends up here. This is true for anybody and everybody. …Some of us, are religious while some others are not, some are leftists while some others rightists/centrists, some are worldly while still others are saints given to Gods, including Hindu, Muslim, Christians, Buddhists of any and all denominations, everyone’s target is money—sometimes expressed, mostly hidden. People are hypocritical in this respect. Next steps in, greed to win/possess this money, otherwise why such a colossus figure like Isaac Newton defying gravitation, will be driven to stock market, and eager to make money fast, and fall with a thud. In this respect, Newton could not control himself, just as you and me, would and could not.