asx stock market share market
(Image: AAP/Bianca De Marchi)

In late 1999 your writer was working and skiing in Canada for a few months between university years. My job involved cleaning dishes and serving food at a tiny café near the foot of Whistler mountain, for which I received C$5.90 an hour (plus tips).

One day, after an eight hour shift (earnings, approximately CA$60), I went to the public library (the only one which had free internet) and checked my Commsec account. One of the shares I owned, NewTel, had doubled. I’d made $5,000. How good is the share market?

The answer: not that good.