In the bad old days, the market was a combination of the wild west and a P.T. Barnum inspired circus. Scams, deceits and overall anarchy ruled the day. To win in the market, a person had to either be lucky or criminal. Most honest folk, preferring the safety of interest-bearing bonds, turned askance when approached by a carpetbag-carrying salesman touting the latest elixir alongside the "next, greatest, railroad stock this side of the Union Pacific." All this Tom-Foolery ended with a resounding crash on a Black Friday one ghoulish October.

Not only did the market crash of 1929 signal the end of the Roaring Twenties, but is also ushered in the most economically dreary decade America has ever seen. Try as he might, all of FDR's horses and all of FDR's men couldn't put the economy together again. Yet, two actions taken early in his term set the stage for the vigorous return of capital markets – and the economy – following the close of World War II.

The first was the creation of the Securities and Exchange Commission to monitor the honesty of the agents of the markets. The second was a series of Securities Laws to level the accounting playing field. No longer were corporate financials held close to the vests of a precious few. Now, everyone got to read – and analyze – those fiscal tea leaves.

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Christopher Carosa

Chris Carosa has been writing a weekly article and monthly column for BenefitsPRO online and BenefitsPRO Magazine since 2011 and is a nationally recognized award-winning writer, researcher and speaker. He’s written seven books, including From Cradle to Retire: The Child IRA; Hey! What’s My Number? – How to Increase the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort; A Pizza The Action: Everything I Ever Learned About Business I Learned By Working in a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair; and the widely acclaimed 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions. Carosa is also Chief Contributing Editor of the authoritative trade journal FiduciaryNews.com and publisher of the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, a weekly community newspaper he founded in 1989. Currently serving as President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and with more than 1,000 articles published in various publications, he appears regularly in the national media. A “parallel” entrepreneur, he actively runs a handful of businesses, including a small boutique investment adviser, providing hands-on experience for his writing. A trained astrophysicist, he also holds an MBA and has been designated a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Share your thoughts and story ideas with him through Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/christophercarosa/)and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ChrisCarosa).