Manville

I had my first crack at trading stocks sometime around 1981 or 1982, which would put me around 5th grade. My father was going to buy some Johns Manville stock, and I had recently come into some small amount of money, and so he offered to let me piggyback his order.

From the corporate history, we find the following entry:

1982

  • Manville Corporation files for Chapter 11.
  • Manville and certain of its subsidiaries file (individually) for protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Okay, that one didn’t turn out so well. However, if you look at their current front page, they have this to say: “Johns Manville, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is a leading manufacturer…” There’s almost no greater accolade than getting bought by Warren Buffet, so I guess it turned out well for the company in the long run.

Here’s the interesting thing. I don’t remember having any regret over the transaction. There were risks, I lost, life went on.