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Investing fads and themes: 1996-2010

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Joshua M. Brown / The Reformed Broker

(Read caption) Guest blogger Joshua M. Brown gives his take on the major investing stories in each of the past 15 years, and which public figure best exemplified them.

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Another year in the books and I've updated my Investing Fads and Themes guide accordingly. It begins with 1996 because that was my first summer working on The Street and my earliest exposure to the market.

So what was 2010 about?

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Well, it was basically about the mobile web and the tablets and smartphones we use to access it. Everything became an app and everyone's phone got real smart. Devices were the must-have item from Apple's summer iPad launch straight through through Christmas. We're even hearing that Amazon may have sold 8 million Kindles this year, way above the 5 million estimate.

We also went berserk for metals and mining stocks this year. Silver stocks as an industry group are up 88% year-to-date, an astounding performance both on an absolute basis and versus the 14% or so that the S&P 500 will probably finish with.

Lastly. we'd be remiss not to point out that one of the hottest (and faddiest) investing themes this year was venture capital. Everyone, it seems, was an angel or an expert in venture finance. As of this writing, Facebook is being valued at $65 billion - and coming public could actually be detrimental to that valuation!

Anyway, here is my updated guide to the Investing Fads and Themes by Year, 1996 - 2010. Enjoy!

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The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link above.