When 11-year old Andrew Miller learned his father would be giving a speech on roller coasters, he was impressed.
“He thought it was more interesting than the presentations on retirement and investing that I usually give,” said John Miller, managing director and head of defined contribution and U.S. Retirement at Pacific Investment Management Co. LLC, Newport Beach, Calif.
Mr. Miller didn't want to spoil his son's enthusiasm by telling him his speech was part of “Seatbelts for roller coasters,” a conference panel discussion about investing in volatile markets.
So, Mr. Miller asked his son to draw the path of a roller coaster.
And when Mr. Miller reviewed his son's handiwork, it reminded him so much of the ups and downs of the stock market that he compared the drawing to the path of the Standard & Poor's 500 index from October 1996 to October 2010. (His son's roller coaster is the red line in the illustration above.)
“The match was so good,” Mr. Miller said, that he used the drawing for his presentation during the "Roller coaster' panel at Pensions & Investments' West Coast Defined Contribution conference in San Francisco.