History lessons: Don't be Impetuous - General Custer

General George Armstrong Custer was the brash young commander of the US 7th Cavalry who rose to prominence in the Indian Wars of the 1870s.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

His natural aggression and love of challenge led to early success, but masked an impetuosity that often got him into trouble. At the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, Custer was so keen to engage the enemy that he refused to wait for support. His 600 men attacked 1,800 warriors led by Sitting Bull, and were massacred. Three days later, passing soldiers saw the carnage - Custer's dead body lay among the fallen, shot through the heart and the head. The rash general has his modern equivalents. In the dot.com frenzy of the late 1990s, impetuous investors charged into internet shares, blinded by the promise of quick profits. The realisation that many dot.coms were worthless led to a stock market massacre: Nasdaq fell by more than 70% between 1999 and 2002. If you're keen for a slice of Web 2.0, assess the risks before you invest.

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