Thursday, May 06, 2010

Economics 101010101010101

I have never claimed to understand economics or the stock market or algebra or Chinese, but the stock market this week really has me puzzled.

I don't keep up with the stock market on a regular basis. As a matter of fact is Wall Street moved to Des Moines, I wouldn't ever find out unless I happened along and saw it Twitter. But I was reading a story today about how the stock market was down 300, no 600, no 900, no 700 points in less than an hour. The story is here

If I can sum it up for you, it says blah blah blah stock market blah blah blah dropped blah blah blah fears of Greece blah blah blah bad news blah blah blah end of the world. Actually I didn't read the story, because I wouldn't understand anyway.

Here's the thing that is strange to me ... again, I'm no expert ... but why does the stock market drop so many point in one day? I don't get it. Human beings are known as hunters and gatherers and it seems when it comes to the stock market, we tend more to be herders.

Here's the way I see most people's investment strategy: What's everyone else doing? Selling? Oh my God I have to sell? Why? Greece! Haven't you heard?

Every book I have ever read about the stock market (which totals about two), they always say the best investment strategy is to invest for the long term. But whenever I see something like this that doesn't seem to be what MOST investors are in fact doing. They are investing for today and maybe tomorrow but nothing much longer than that ... unless that's what everybody else is doing.

I guess I never have been one to really follow the crowd and that has probably been a good thing and probably a bad thing. At one of my first jobs, the management team always told me I needed to grow up and be serious sometimes. They said I couldn't decide when to be a jokey jokester and when to be a serious sales professional. I tried to change. I really did. Now, I wish I would have told them to shove their management style up their ...

Well, you get the picture.

Sometimes doing what everybody else is doing can get you in trouble (like following everybody to the shortest line at the grocery story only to find out the line is shutting down). Sometimes following the crowd is a good thing (like following everybody to the shortest line at the grocery story and you are the 1,000th customer ... which admittedly doesn't happen a lot, but if it did ...).

Sometimes following the crowd is a really bad thing (like following the crowd when blah blah blah Greece blah blah blah bad blah blah blah pretty scenery blah blah blah sell everything now).

But maybe it's just me.

I'm just a simple cavemen and I admit that I don't understand economics or investing. Some people invest in financial stocks or oil stocks or technology stocks or automotive stocks. But for me, I'll think I'll bypass the herd and go maverick on my stock selections.

 I'm just gonna stick with investing my hard-earned money in liquor and Twinkies.

Happy investing.

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