Tisch's Bad Bet

He lost $1.2 billion. Ouch. Here's what you can learn from a savvy investor's costly blunder

The stock market can make anyone look bad--even a billionaire investor like Laurence Tisch, who will step down as CEO of Loews Corp. by year's end. Shareholders may wish he had stepped down sooner, given his errant attempts to time the market over the past two years. Tisch, a contrarian, is smarter than most. After oil prices receded in the early '80s, his company bought oil tankers and drilling rigs at scrap-metal prices and later sold them for a tenfold gain. But he's lost big betting the company's cash against the Standard & Poor's 500, and its stock has suffered as...

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