Is Risk Dead?

Judging by the returns on equities over the past four years, you'd have to say yes. You'd be wrong

The new capitalists--those who started trading during this great, four-year, 20%-plus S&P bonanza--may have stumbled on a bit of knowledge we old-timers can't seem to get into our heads. They regard bonds as risky, stocks as safe. Nothing could be more wealth-creating than those Gibraltars, the Net stocks, and nothing more dangerous than that 30-year piece of paper issued by that barely credit-worthy entity, the United States of America.

This credo is at the heart of what scares traditionalists about the market and entices the newer generation. I was schooled at Goldman Sachs--could it be just 15 years ago?--that nothing could...

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