Returned from holiday to find correspondence lying on my doorstep from two internet companies. Both were big names and continually in the news during the internet boom in 1999.

Firstly, two cheques resulting from travelocity’s takeover of Back in 2000, I applied to buy shares in for me, my wife, my auntie and my dog. Thankfully, the share offering was massively oversubscribed and I only received the minimum allocation which reduced my subsequent losses five years later. In fact, the lastminute takeover was very timely as I had two separate, small shareholdings which I was stuck with as dealing costs would have swallowed up most of the proceeds.

Secondly, a thick wad of legalese all the way from the United States of America regarding a class action by shareholders (and corporate lawyers) against Amazon. I couldn’t be bothered to read all the twenty seven pages of small print but the gist appeared to be that people bought shares expecting to become dollar millionaires overnight and, unsurprisingly, were bitterly disappointed when this failed to materialise. Remember, people, the price of shares can go down as well as up. If you want to become a dollar millionaire, don’t buy shares become a corporate lawyer.