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Stock Market Meditations

By IHCOYC in Op-Ed
Wed Jul 24, 2002 at 01:48:26 AM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)
/etc

Over the last several months I have lost at least $15,000 wagering in stocks and mutual funds. This pleases me.

I find myself wondering why.


It isn't like the money was there for spending, and now I cannot. All of my investments are tied up in tax-deferred retirement accounts. The gains they posted were all the gold of fairyland in any case, especially since I doubt I will live so long as to ever actually be entitled to withdraw this money.

I liquidated my non-retirement stock and fund holdings in mid-2000, when the writing was on the wall. This was not the result of some game plan, or even prudence or foresight on my part. It had more to do with the realisation that the transmission on my old car was failing. In hindsight, that was a good time to sell.

I never wanted to play the stock markets anyways. I call it wagering, not because I sought risky stocks, but because my deepest prejudices say that putting your money in a financial market rather than a bank is a kind of gambling. Almost all of my holdings are traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

I put my savings there quite reluctantly, mostly because it became impossible to find savings accounts paying more than diddly-squat in interest in the go-go Nineties. The lag between stocks and interest rates made it seem foolish to keep money in the banks back then. So I moved it.

My game plan ever was to invest in stocks or funds of established, dividend-paying corporations with real assets in mature markets. So far this has generally succeeded, in that the value of my portfolio has fallen less than the markets generally have; being deeply cautious and risk-averse by nature, my portfolio was chosen mostly by these mental habits. So far it has worked.

In a way, I am richer than before. If everybody else is bleeding more than me, I am likelier to survive. This is not quite the explanation.

Optimism is an obnoxious, beet-faced, backslapping lout with a loud voice. Optimism remembers your name long after you have forgotten his, and calls out to you from across the room with a wave. Optimism is an asshole.

Pessimism is a far more congenial companion. Pessimism is pale and retiring, and clothed in dark colours. Pessimism wishes to be left alone to brood on its misfortunes, and is willing to leave you to the same fate.

Then again, you already know you want Pessimism to be in charge of your finances. This is not quite the explanation.

All my life, I have lived in hope of Apocalypse. The descent of some awful calamity that at once absolves you of your conduct in the past, and of responsibility for the future. Quick deaths for the lucky, freedom from the constraints of existing institutions for the survivors. Won't it be glorious?

A good strong financial panic is as good a harbinger of Apocalypse as anything else. It might lead to other things, like a vast change in political mood, which at present seems as welcome as an actual revolution. It might save the nation from itself. $15,000 is a small price to pay for such a boon.

Hard times and bread lines. A world where there is no blame for not working, where all are dressed in second-hand clothes, and where the dust from the untilled fields blows across the prairies --- it sounds rather serious, rather sombre, and therefore inviting: an antidote to frivolity.

And there is what is perhaps the greatest satisfaction in all of this: the inner glow that comes from having been right all along, from having prepared for the worst: the solemn pride of the prudent and the doom-ridden. The satisfaction of being able to say, "I told you so."

When the panic selling begins in earnest, won't it be fun?

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Stock Market Meditations | 90 comments (77 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
6000 Dow should be about the bottom (4.33 / 3) (#3)
by leviramsey on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 01:25:09 PM EST

If only because of the P/E inflation (depending on how many writeoffs you want to expense, the S&P 500 is at 3 times its historical P/E ratio).



Re: 6000 Dow should be about the bottom (4.50 / 2) (#8)
by Rogerborg on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 01:45:31 PM EST

Out of interest, did your prescience help you to get out of the market before it tanked? Or are you one of those guys that understands it, but chooses not to gamb^H^H^H^H invest in it?

Or, as is most likely, are you in the same boat as the rest of us: making wild guesses, getting screwed when the big investors pull out, and hoping that it'll all turn out for the best in the end?


"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

I lack the assets (4.00 / 2) (#11)
by leviramsey on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 01:52:11 PM EST

at this point to invest.

Well, save for the $100K in a trust fund (which is primarily invested in Ginnie Maes, afaik).



[ Parent ]
was looking through my email history recently... (4.50 / 2) (#27)
by krkrbt on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 04:27:37 PM EST

12/14/2001:  "Dad- I want out of the stock market."    ("college fund" money - still have quite a bit)

Which would of been a good time to get out - the markets at that time were just shy of the second peak in March.  Of course, I don't know what I'm talking about, and everyone knows the way to make money on stocks is to buy & hold for the long run.   The way I look at it, is that the way to not make money in stocks is to ride the stock market all the way down in a bearish slide.  

So two weeks ago, I again read the writing on the wall, and try to sell some of my funds (intel, cisco, mutual fund).  My broker's a "but the bull-market is just around the corner, really!" type, and tried to talk me out of it.  I felt the need to convince him that it was a good move, and so I didn't follow through.  doh.  So I've lost my thousands, and I've learned my lesson (don't listen to CNN, or the stock broker whose information sources are the same at CNN's).  

a good market newsletter that I recently found is at http://www.sovereignstrategist.com/.. I'm impressed with his weekly commentaries, and will probably be subscribing soon...

[ Parent ]

Stocks (none / 0) (#85)
by wnight on Wed Jul 24, 2002 at 01:24:07 PM EST

Where is the money you make in stocks supposed to come from? All I can see is that it's the money other people pay for the stocks. Somewhat zero-sum. If a thousand people put in a thousand dollars and two people walk would with 50k each, everyone else is down $100, right? (With the exception of dividends and a few other things.)

I've always heard that the way to make money in stocks is to invest and hold. Actually, I usually hear it when stocks are slumping, presumably it's being said by people who want to dump their stocks first, and who want to convince the gullible to take the fall.

But, I have no doubt that when you average out the people who got out, with those who stayed and suffered, that the markets go up eventually. More people join the game which means more money to feed back to the early members of the ponzi scheme, oh sorry, stock market...


[ Parent ]

long-term (none / 0) (#86)
by krkrbt on Wed Jul 24, 2002 at 02:44:09 PM EST

Where is the money you make in stocks supposed to come from?

over the very long term, the increase in the price of a stock will match the rate of inflation.  Dividends paid by the stock will be your "profit" (sharing in the wealth created by the company's business).

[ Parent ]

Prescience??? (5.00 / 2) (#30)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 05:55:37 PM EST

Wasn't Greenspan warning of "irrational exuberance" way back in 1997? P/E ratios may not be the whole story, but it didn't require any fantastic powers of foresight to judge the market as seriously inflated. The only questions was when, exactly, the bubble would burst.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
When the panic selling begins? (4.60 / 5) (#4)
by wiredog on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 01:26:09 PM EST

It began last week. The Crash of 2002. Since March the Dow is down 25%, the S&P 500 is down 27%, the Nasdaq is down 32%. That is up through Friday last.

Just checked my 401k. The market slide has almost, but not quite, negated the employer contributions. So I'm still slightly ahead. I'm making about as much on the 401k as I would with a savings account, except that a savings account doesn't have the tax advantages.

Can't sleep. The clowns will get me.

dollar cost averaging (4.00 / 5) (#9)
by senjiro on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 01:47:26 PM EST

I'm thrilled to see the market slump, because i'm in my late 20's and my 401k is buying equity like it's free (because at current prices it nearly is). Don't get me wrong, if I were in my late 60's today I'd be in tears, if not suicidal. But fortunately for those of us who can look forward to 30 or 40 years of the market, our dollars are currently buying much more equity in a devalued market than they would have in the early-mid 90's. Here's a nice explanation of both this and value averaging.


it is by will alone that i set my mind in motion
[ Parent ]
One worry (4.57 / 7) (#15)
by wiredog on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 01:58:38 PM EST

Those people who have to continue working instead of retiring. How many of them are there? If person X doesn't retire, how do the people in line for his position get promotions or raises? Suppose he "retires" and takes a job at Wal-Mart/McDees/etc to supplement his social security, where do people in their teens/twenties/otherwise unskilled go to earn money?

You get enough older people not retiring and getting out of the way, you end up with lots of younger people with no prospects.

Can't sleep. The clowns will get me.
[ Parent ]

true (4.00 / 5) (#16)
by senjiro on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 02:11:29 PM EST

that is just one of the many legs on the social security monster. I don't have an answer there, but hopefully the answer is that it motivates young people to become skilled labor! What's more, is that in the current and forseeable future, there won't be any unskilled jobs available. As corporations downsize, and less money circulates there's gonna be a metric sh1tload of unemployed. That's capitalism.

I have hope in the mid to long term outlook tho, there's nothing significant in US industry right now that says "we can't recover" from this. Our market is one of the strongest in the world, and it won't be too long until investors start realizing how grossly undervalued the market is, and put money back in.


it is by will alone that i set my mind in motion
[ Parent ]
it's worse than that... (3.00 / 1) (#45)
by pb on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 01:52:13 AM EST

The job market is absolutely brutal out there; there's enough skilled labor that's out of work that some young people are coming out of college unemployed.  I should know, I did it; I eventually found a temporary job (6-9 months), but that will be running out soon, and I'll be back to competing against veteran computing professionals for the nonexistent pool of jobs...

But I agree that the mid- to long-term outlook isn't necessarily bad as much as it is up in the air, and I plan on putting a little money back into my mutual fund (which I have incidentally timed rather well, taking money out as I have needed it, which left it depleted for the crash...) since I have a little to spare...
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Huxley (none / 0) (#90)
by sean23007 on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:37:03 PM EST

Aldous Huxley drew a picture several decades ago of what would happen if there were only skilled laborers. The society would not work. It would come apart at the seams. If every person was skilled, there would be no people to sell the goods that the skilled laborers produce. Unskilled laborers are just as needed as skilled laborers. Without them, there would be no McDonald's employees, nor Walmart; there would be no garbage men or sewer workers. There are so many things that we take for granted, and a lot of them are made possible by unskilled people, be they young or old.

Sure, some people must become skilled, but what people must realize is that that is not the road that everyone should take, lest we cripple ourselves. Think for a moment, if you were a highly skilled computer programmer, would you want to sell burgers? Of course not. But someone needs to sell burgers, and if everyone is skilled, then someone who is skilled must sell burgers to others who are skilled.

Lack of eloquence does not denote lack of intelligence, though they often coincide.
[ Parent ]
People in their 60s *should* be working (3.20 / 5) (#21)
by Weezul on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 02:51:43 PM EST

The retirment age was set at 60 since that was when people died.  The age of actual retirement should be the average lifespan.. or greater.. say when your nolonger sane.  I don't mind if people's smaller scale retirement benifits kick in a little sooner to make it easy for them to change jobs, there is nothing wrong with having people change jobs as their abilities change, but they really do need to keep working.  No other solution is really economically viable.. for the masses.  The fact that we only raised the retirement age to 65 instead of 75 or 80 is the big problem with social security.

Anyway, social security is an outdates system anyway.  We should eliminate it and have state funded nursing homes.. to provide everyone with a pleasent way to speand their last year of life before they die.  That was all social security was ever intended to provide anyway.
"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini
[ Parent ]

errr.... (4.00 / 6) (#24)
by senjiro on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 04:11:47 PM EST

The age of actual retirement should be the average lifespan.. or greater

two words: fsck that I'm guessing you are either new to the employment sector, work in a strip club (or other highly enjoyable environment), or haven't worked yet! I realise that the 'retirement age' is just a government specified age at which you get SS, but c'mon! If people foolishly trust SS to save them, and have to get another job, that's one thing. Forcing the vast majority of the working populace to work their entire adult life has nothing to do with curing social ills, it creates one called slavery.


it is by will alone that i set my mind in motion
[ Parent ]
You should be glad, then, that the age for (5.00 / 3) (#36)
by Nicht Ausreichend on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 08:42:05 PM EST

full retirement is 65 only for people who were born by 1937. For those born in 1960 and later, it's 67. By the way, using "state funded nursing homes" and "pleasent" (sic) in the same sentence strikes me as an oxymoron.

[ Parent ]
You're one of THOSE people.... (2.00 / 1) (#84)
by Kintanon on Wed Jul 24, 2002 at 01:21:42 PM EST

I really hate you 'Work Until you Die' types. You act like the purpose of everyone on the planet is simply to contribute some cash to the economy, do your job, shut your mouth, get old and die. Well some of the rest of us don't see it that way. Working is a means, not an end. It allows me to pursue Martial Arts, Travel, play games, and do other things. My job is FAR from the most important thing in my life even though I enjoy it.
I plan on retiring in my early 50s and continuing to travel etc... possibly working odd jobs wherever I see something interesting, hopefully I will some day be able to open my own Martial Arts school. Either way, working until you die is a pathetic way to live.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

On the contrary (3.75 / 4) (#33)
by QuickFox on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 07:54:58 PM EST

You get enough older people not retiring and getting out of the way, you end up with lots of younger people with no prospects.

It's the other way round. The more the old people work, the more money they have, which means they spend more money buying products and services. The stuff that they buy has to be produced. This creates jobs. If they are passive they buy less, so less stuff is produced and there are fewer jobs.

The economy does not consist of a fixed number of jobs positions to be filled. Quite the contrary, the number of jobs is highly variable. So don't strive for passivity in the economy, rather strive for vitality. One reason the US economy is ahead of us here in Europe is precisely the higher vitality of your economy.

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fi
[ Parent ]

US economy (3.71 / 7) (#39)
by felixrayman on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 09:18:23 PM EST

One reason the US economy is ahead of us here in Europe is precisely the higher vitality of your economy

People in France retire at 50. The news this week in the US is full of quotes from retirees who have had to go back to work and will have to work into their 70s and beyond. It seems ridiculous to say that one economy is better than another without asking 'for whom?'. Think about it again, work 35 hours a week and retire when you're 50, or work 50 hours a week, and possibly retire at 65, or 70, or maybe not if a CEO ran off with your 401k money.

Your economics on labor supply issues is off too, a shock that results in more people looking for jobs will move the supply curve to the right ( more people will take jobs at any given price ), the new meeting point of the demand and supply curves will result in a lower price for labor. There will be no new spending by these people, they were planning on spending anyway, they were just planning on doing it with the proceeds from the investments they made that are now worth 50% or less of what they were a few years ago. Don't confuse vitality with desperation.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
socialism (3.00 / 4) (#43)
by senjiro on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 10:59:49 PM EST

People in France retire at 50.

People in France also go days or weeks in shortages or completely without essential services due to never ending labor disputes.

without asking 'for whom?'.

true, but your answer, while socially appealing is wrong. This discussion is about the recovery of the economy, and the ability of people to find work. In THAT context, the question is 'which economy can produce the most aggregate wealth in the shortest time'. The answer there, clearly, is the US.

FWIW, I think the picture you paint sounds very nice, but the reality is that socialism does not a rigorous economy make


it is by will alone that i set my mind in motion
[ Parent ]
French and British situations (4.00 / 3) (#54)
by thebrix on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 11:20:16 AM EST

People in France also go days or weeks in shortages or completely without essential services due to never ending labor disputes.

There are several gross exaggerations there ... but there's something in what you say.

In the United Kingdom, at the moment, money is being thrown at public services and, by no coincidence, there are strikes popping up with their rationale being that public sector trade unions believe their members to be underpaid. In many cases this is true; however, a danger is that the money thrown at the public services is, to an extent*, swallowed up by wages and salaries.

Doing so might improve the contentedness (thus productivity) of the workforce; on the other hand, if infrastructure is bad or broken, paying people more to operate that infrastructure benefits neither them nor those who use the infrastructure.

* The right-wing press has run riot with distortions stating that it'll all be swallowed up.

[ Parent ]

socialism (5.00 / 3) (#68)
by felixrayman on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 07:08:03 PM EST

People in France also go days or weeks in shortages or completely without essential services due to never ending labor disputes.

And they are willing to put up with those shortages and labor disputes because in the long run these things are in their best interest. It's called solidarity.

the question is 'which economy can produce the most aggregate wealth in the shortest time'

I disagree, I think there are important differences that GDP figures don't capture. The French have higher productivity per hour than the US, according to The Economist. If someone in France works 30 hours a week and adds 20 dollars an hour to GDP, while an American works 50 hours a week and adds 12 dollars an hour to GDP, measuring by GDP their situations are the same. I say the French person is better off.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Not really (5.00 / 3) (#75)
by linca on Wed Jul 24, 2002 at 06:12:28 AM EST

<cite>People in France also go days or weeks in shortages or completely without essential services due to never ending labor disputes</cite>

<p>Well, no. The service where strikes happen "regularly" (major strikes every decade) is public transportation ; those are hardly existing in the US ; and not so "essential". OTOH, I don't remember electricity outages due to anything else that natural catastrophy in my whole life. And even then, the service was reestablished very quickly. Compare to California. Water is drinkable everywhere ; health service, an essential one if there is, is accessible to everyone.</p>

[ Parent ]

A larger perspective (3.50 / 2) (#60)
by QuickFox on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 03:13:55 PM EST

It seems ridiculous to say that one economy is better than another without asking 'for whom?'.

You make a good argument but still I disagree. An ordinary US salary buys much more than an ordinary European salary. When I say that the US economy is ahead, what I mean is precisely this. Ordinary people with ordinary salaries are richer in the US.

a shock that results in more people looking for jobs will move the supply curve to the right ( more people will take jobs at any given price ),

By "shock", do you mean the large number of new youngsters who want jobs? But this happens every year, good years and bad years. It does not have any great negative effects because it does not prevent good years from being good.

In the long run, what you want is more people buying more things and services, because that's what pays salaries. You want the total number of job positions to increase, so employers have to compete for employees, so salaries rise.

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fi
[ Parent ]

shock (5.00 / 1) (#67)
by felixrayman on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 07:00:32 PM EST

By shock I mean the people who had already retired and will be rejoining the labor force due to severe losses in their investments and people already in the labor force who will put off retirement for the same reason. They represent extra people in the labor force without an increase in the total amount of spending. They were spending before, they will spend now, only they will do it out of wages instead of investment income that had been destroyed in the crash. They will compete with other workers for jobs. There will be more jobs, and the jobs will pay less than before.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Sixties (4.66 / 9) (#20)
by ucblockhead on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 02:34:51 PM EST

If you are in your sixties, you sure as hell shouldn't have your retirement fund in stocks!
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Not true -- one popular rule of thumb is -- (3.00 / 1) (#34)
by Nicht Ausreichend on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 08:22:17 PM EST

to keep a percentage equal to your age in bonds, and the remainder (100-age) in stocks. At 60, that would be 60% in bonds and 40% in stocks. When you may well be looking at 20 or so more years, you can't afford to ignore the market.

[ Parent ]
Popularity (4.50 / 2) (#44)
by ucblockhead on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 11:09:22 PM EST

The last few months show why that popular rule is wrong. If you are forty, the last two months won't kill you. If you are seventy, well, let's just say that the seventy year old who went for all bonds is a lot more comfortable.
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Lifestyling. (none / 0) (#49)
by Herring on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 04:20:54 AM EST

S'right. Most funds which offer automatic lifestyling move to 100% bonds at target retirement date.


Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
[ Parent ]
That depends on the particular 70-year old (none / 0) (#57)
by Nicht Ausreichend on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 02:46:16 PM EST

If s/he caught the top of the bubble and moved money from stocks to bonds, it's probably great (depending on taxes, etc.)  If, however, s/he had been in only bonds for many of the past years, the comfort could be illusory because s/he missed out on a rising tide that floated so many different boats.

OK, I agree that the rule of thumb has to be balanced with other factors:  individual circumstances like total assets, debt, current health and projected life span, estate planning, taxes, etc.

However, a financial plan that leads to being totally risk-averse at retirement age strikes me as just pathetic!  For those who save money, avoid debt, research their investments (as someone else has said today), and keep their investments diversified, owning stocks at age 70 can be quite appropriate.
 

[ Parent ]

Luck (5.00 / 1) (#58)
by ucblockhead on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 03:04:26 PM EST

But that's just it...a seventy year old is much less able to deal with short term bad luck than a forty year old.
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Sorry, I can't accept such a general statement. (none / 0) (#69)
by Nicht Ausreichend on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 07:51:05 PM EST

  1.  Successful investing isn't just a matter of "luck" by any means.
  2.  Many people are still mentally alert and physically vigorous at 70 these days.  What's more, those people often have the benefit of experience and the knowledge that "this too shall [or at least MAY] pass."
  3.  People who are still alert and vigorous at 70 now often live into their 80s, and so will probably live to see another market cycle.  If they've been investing wisely over the years, they'll know that.


[ Parent ]
luck (none / 0) (#72)
by ucblockhead on Wed Jul 24, 2002 at 12:05:04 AM EST

No one can predict the exact occurance of the sort of thing that happened in the last couple of months. Oh, they can say "it's due to happen soon", but anyone who says they know the date is a charleton. Hence, people who can't afford to lose money on the short term shouldn't have money in something that can lose money in the short term. A cautious, but guaranteed income is better than a high chance of a higher one that carries risk. This has absolutely nothing to do with mental accuity. It has to do with whether you are in it for the short or long term. Someone living on investment income is, by definition, in it for the short term.
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
You seem to be assuming that this hypothetical 70- (none / 0) (#77)
by Nicht Ausreichend on Wed Jul 24, 2002 at 09:39:17 AM EST

year old person has no financial cushion and needs to spend every penny of investment income every month.  In that case even bonds are risky; they have credit, market, interest rate and inflation risk.

The 70-year old in my mind is much more fortunate: being fairly healthy, having reasonable health insurance coverage available, owning a dwelling, and receiving Social Security payments as well as a pension.  (I happen to be old enough to expect that SS will still be around for me, and for my spouse to have worked in one place long enough to be able to expect a pension.)  It's appropriate for this person to have a balance of cash equivalents, bonds, and also some stocks.

I realize that the younger people's expectations have had to change, but a financial plan with a "goal" of living hand-to-mouth at 70 still strikes me as pathetic.

By the way, I just found a website on bond investments (URL available) saying that, for people nearing retirement, the recommended percentage of bonds in a portfolio ranges from 15 to 60%; even they don't go for 100%.

[ Parent ]

Hand to mouth? (none / 0) (#79)
by ucblockhead on Wed Jul 24, 2002 at 11:31:54 AM EST

No, the smart thing to do is invest enough when you are thirty so that when you are seventy, a perfectly safe investment in bonds gives you a comfortable lifestyle. When you are hired, constancy is more important than potentially high income.

And frankly, I don't trust such financial advisors. They tend to be idiots.
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

There is no such thing as a perfectly safe (none / 0) (#82)
by Nicht Ausreichend on Wed Jul 24, 2002 at 12:30:08 PM EST

investment in bonds!  Bonds have risks.

Also, you seem to be equating investment income with capital gains from trading.  At 70, I'd want relatively safe stocks with relatively high, stable dividend income.  

For example I have some stock in a paper company that makes, among other things, disposable diapers for all ages.  I expect it to pay its next dividend in spite of the last couple of months' events, because the need for those products hasn't (sorry) dried up.

Do you really mean "invest enough when you're thirty?"  I think the smart thing is to start saving before that, even if it's only a little bit at first, and continue to save and invest for years after that.

Well, this is getting too repetitious to continue.  I do agree with you about financial advisors; I read various kinds of financial advice, but I damn' well manage my own portfolio.


[ Parent ]

Wall Street Investment *is* luck (none / 0) (#73)
by PresJPolk on Wed Jul 24, 2002 at 03:40:35 AM EST

Making money on Wall Street *is* luck because the markets are dominated by people who work on false or no information, instead going by emotion.

Irrational exuberence doesn't just raise markets, it also sinks them.

[ Parent ]

That's much more true for trading/speculating (none / 0) (#78)
by Nicht Ausreichend on Wed Jul 24, 2002 at 09:45:14 AM EST

than for well-informed long-term investing.

[ Parent ]
Besides dollar cost averaging, (4.50 / 2) (#35)
by Nicht Ausreichend on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 08:28:22 PM EST

go for dividend reinvestment. That's especially true when you're young, and can afford to go for stocks that are likely to give you high capital gains but pay low dividends. Rather than bothering with a check for a few bucks, let it roll into a bit more stock. Over the long haul you get the benefit of compounding, and it can really add up.

[ Parent ]
Peter Lynch once said, (2.85 / 7) (#6)
by JChen on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 01:37:14 PM EST

"Show me a happy looser and I'll show you a looser."

Let us do as we say.
Errr (4.75 / 4) (#7)
by Rogerborg on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 01:41:01 PM EST

    "Show me a happy looser and I'll show you a looser."

How did a guy that can't spell simple words like "loser" get so rich?


"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Beats me (3.00 / 1) (#13)
by JChen on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 01:55:19 PM EST

and yet he's still richer than us. It's ironic that the professors who teach economics are dirt poor while Lynch is filthy rich.

Let us do as we say.
[ Parent ]
academic economists (2.25 / 4) (#26)
by krkrbt on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 04:16:25 PM EST

It's ironic that the professors who teach economics are dirt poor while Lynch is filthy rich. I don't find it ironic at all - professors generally subscribe to John Maynard Keynes view of how the world works (circa 1930's), even though, according to articles from the Ludwig von Mises institute, Keynes' economic theories have been thoroughly debunked. I had a college economic professor (well, grad student) who was a keynsian (and for whom I had absolutely no respect), who said such inane things as, "gold (as money) is obsolete". Which may or may not be true, but can you guess which stocks were spiking after Sept. 11th, and which funds have returned 50-80% over the past year?

[ Parent ]
gotta think like the masses (4.50 / 2) (#29)
by influx on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 05:41:32 PM EST

Seems like a lot of economic theory is based on the assumption that an individual will always act in his/her best interests... Sounds great but inherent in that assumption is that people are smart enough to figure out what will be best for them longterm.

Seems like those who are making the most money are figuring out where the masses are going to put their money (or not) and staying a step ahead of them... Not something I'd expect from an economics prof.

---
The more you know, the less you understand.
[ Parent ]

two points (5.00 / 1) (#47)
by streetlawyer on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 02:43:37 AM EST

1) Keynes made a vast amount of money for the King's College endowment by investing in stocks and commodities.

2) Yes, gold stocks spiked on 11 Sept, but that hardly proves Mises right, does it? Which conditions are more typical of the economy; those prevailing on 12 Sept, or those prevailing throughout the 1990s when gold bugs got their head handed to them.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

debunked by *who?* (5.00 / 1) (#64)
by flimflam on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 04:38:14 PM EST

First of all, you're right that it's not ironic, but it has nothing to do with Keynes or, ahem, Von Mises. The simple fact of the matter is that professors, even economics professors, are academics. They are not in the business of making money. They are in the business of teaching and doing research.

Also, it's not just college professors who largely Keynesians, but virtually all policy makers, including the right-wing ones. Keynesian economics forms the basis of monetary policy, and Alan Greenspan is a notorious libertarian (he was a friend of Ayn Rand, BTW).

Your TA might have many other things going against him, but he was right that gold is obsolete as money. Do you really think that people were getting rid of their cash after 9/11? Of course not -- they were selling stocks to invest in gold. Now gold may be a fine commodity to invest in, but that really has no bearing on its suitability as a currency. (Hint: would you want a currency that volatile?)

As for Von Mises -- I wouldn't put too much stock in someone so thouroughly discredited by all but the most rabid libertarians. Even most libertarians that I know wouldn't give him much regard.


-- I am always optimistic, but frankly there is no hope. --Hosni Mubarek
[ Parent ]
panic selling. (4.00 / 7) (#10)
by goatse on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 01:50:47 PM EST

Yup, it should be fun.  I'm actually going to lose a high precentage of my over all net worth, but I don't really mind since I've been in school forever and I could easily cover it with a year of working.  As they always say, the stock market is for money you wern't going to think up a real use for anyway.

Still, a real stock market crash is not going to be that big of a deal.  I'd like to see one in my lifetime and this is clearly the best time (and the lifesavings loose could not have happened to a niace generation, the boomers), but there are other things I'd like to see too.

Global warming is one.  I'm really disapointed with the EPA predictions of only one meter of sea level rise over the next 100 years.  I'd really like to see Miami's buildings sticking up out of the water.  Even if Bush's EPA is guessing way down and we manage to see 2 or 3 meters in my lifetime, it just not enough.. not with sea walls and everything.  Now if one of those major antartic ice sheats collapses.. fun fun fun.


Me too (4.00 / 2) (#19)
by trane on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 02:26:55 PM EST

"Je voudrai que quelquechose d'infini m'arrive!" - Henri Barbusse

[ Parent ]
Moi aussi. . . (3.00 / 1) (#23)
by IHCOYC on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 03:21:31 PM EST

"O Lord, deliver us from the dailiness of daily life!"

     ---Peter Vertries
--
"Complecti antecessores tuos in spelæis stygiis Tartari appara," eructavit miles primus.
"Vix dum basiavisti vicarium velocem Mortis," rediit Grignr.
--- Livy
[ Parent ]

impossible (5.00 / 1) (#40)
by martingale on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 09:36:32 PM EST

"Je voudrai que quelquechose d'infini m'arrive!" - Henri Barbusse
If it's an infinite event, by definition it can't end, whence can't fully happen. Barbusse's wish is therefore impossible in principle. In fact, he's dead isn't he? Goes to show the consequences of muddled thinking...

[ Parent ]
the boomer generation (none / 0) (#83)
by khallow on Wed Jul 24, 2002 at 01:02:00 PM EST

Still, a real stock market crash is not going to be that big of a deal. I'd like to see one in my lifetime and this is clearly the best time (and the lifesavings loose could not have happened to a niace generation, the boomers), but there are other things I'd like to see too.

I wouldn't be so hard on the boomers. They're the generation that first grew up on TV, suffered through the Vietnam War and 60's style liberalism (not to mention the trap of Yuppie materialism), and most of them didn't catch the wave when it came to the boom in housing prices. In fact, some of them were probably saying the same thing (as above) in 1971, but about the GI generation. They got screwed anyway. Makes you wonder what the next no-doubt alienated generation will be saying about you when the next crash comes. Will they too say "It couldn't happen to a nicer generation?"

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Judging by the poll (4.00 / 4) (#18)
by anonimouse on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 02:26:42 PM EST

Some short selling would mean you get rich from the downward plunge in shares......
~
Sleepyhel:
Relationships and friendships are complex beasts. There's nothing wrong with doing things a little differently.
Till you get squeezed (4.50 / 2) (#31)
by jcolter on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 07:36:05 PM EST

One of my least fun stock market moments, was when I thought it would be a good idea to short some Yahoo after I heard that its valuation was larger than the Washington Post (late nineties I believe).

The real danger is being caught in market forces that you do not understand.  There are plenty of buyers out there ready to hammer punks like us if they think we are bluffing.  

However, if you are going to do it, at least set a reasonable strike price.  


[ Parent ]

Strike Price? (none / 0) (#61)
by pexatus on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 03:16:14 PM EST

There's no strike price with short selling.

[ Parent ]
I think he meant put options... (none / 0) (#76)
by pschap on Wed Jul 24, 2002 at 08:10:20 AM EST

...which aren't such a bad idea if you're betting against since at least your loses are finitely bounded.

--
"In 1991, we had almost nothing. We'd only begun building cocks. After just 10 years, we have a very robust, active cock."

[ Parent ]
Yeah... (3.80 / 10) (#25)
by JahToasted on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 04:12:49 PM EST

It's like a friend of mine said... the US needs a famine to put things in perspective.
______
"I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" -- Jim Morrison
How to get a +1 FP from sticky (4.25 / 4) (#32)
by sticky on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 07:42:39 PM EST

Speak of your gleeful anticipation of coming doom and destruction.


Don't eat the shrimp.---God
It's that easy? (5.00 / 2) (#50)
by godix on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 04:28:13 AM EST

I can't wait till nukes start flying and all of Europe and the US are left melted glowing piles of radioactive rock.

There, I expect to get my 5 rating from you quickly.

[ Parent ]

Similar Experience (4.25 / 4) (#37)
by n8f8 on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 08:44:23 PM EST

I pulled most of my non-retirment money out in March 2000 to put down on a house. Most of it had been in a Internet stock mutual fund called Munder NetNet. Needless to say, I made a bundle and got out just before the market tanked.

So I too look on mildly amused with the deflated values of my retirement investments compared to two years ago. I was semi-lucky in that about hallf of the retirment money has done well because I invested in stock with my last two employers - both Defense contractors.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)

The end of the world is fucking boring (4.00 / 9) (#46)
by Perianwyr on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 02:09:11 AM EST

The apocalypse is the final solution of the authoritarian mind- it's like the impulse to suicide writ large. We want the Devil's jubilee. All debts resolved, all merchants paupers, all kings beggars, all queens whores. Except every one of us is all three: none will be saved. It's on no schedule, it's got no balance, it's just a big game of 52-Pickup (the cards scattered by the feet of a billion rioters.)

Problem is, the folks that are the winners in our current game- which, incidentally, is most definitely Mille Bornes, although I suspect our version is played without a scoresheet; anyone who plays enough of it realizes that the most lovely and memorable misfortunes come when no one has any long term goal, no motivations for a Safe Trip or a Coup Fourre, just withholding of all of the Gasoline cards to be discarded one by one in front of a hapless, empty-tanked opponent- are certainly going to still be the winners if we just wash all the markings off the cards and play Tabula Rasa (the winner is the one that decides to beat all the other players to death, to avoid the shame of losing.)

It's a terrible distortion to ask Chaos for destruction, as, at the end of the day, she is pretty neutral about these things. Sometimes a butterfly flaps its wings- and you know the story- with an ensuing natural disaster. And sometimes an abandoned lovechild issued from those too poor for abortion grows up to be an improbable, inspirational Psychic Warrior, who helps us smash down our self-built mental jails, and who wipes the smog and soot off of our goggles, letting us see the future our children are always trying so hard to show us.

Your life and your world are positively gravid with incipient Chaos. Don't wait for a critical mass you'll never see.

Smoothing out (5.00 / 4) (#51)
by thebrix on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 05:13:45 AM EST

What a lot of the more hysterical commentary misses, either deliberately or through ignorance, is that (at least in the United Kingdom) pension payments are taken each month from your salary and the investment, in the years towards retirement, is slowly switched over to bonds, gilts etc. There is no equivalent to the 401(k) where (am I correct?) there is nothing stopping the investment being 100 per cent in stocks ad infinitum and even 100 per cent in your own company's stock.

Thus the belief that a long-developed retirement payment is suddenly and permanently reduced by 40 or 50 per cent because of a crash just doesn't happen; also, with a good 30 years or so to go, it may well be that I look back on the monthly investments now and think 'gosh, these did particularly well'.

I suppose the people who will do relatively badly are those who, now, are just before the switch mentioned above.

stock market: crazy? (3.00 / 6) (#52)
by tps12 on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 10:20:21 AM EST

I was thinking about this, and talking about it on IRC, last night. It's a little offtopic, but a little on- as well. Basically, I am wondering how the stock market would be different without any government oversight or regulation. The topical part is that I suspect that a free stock market would be more stable than the one we have.

Any market's freedom is tied to information. A market in which every agent has the same knowledge as every other agent is freer than one in which different agents have differing knowledge. The problem with the regulated market is that regulations and oversight attempt to eliminate the differences in information that arise naturally. This encourages people who really don't know anything about a company to invest in it.

Minor correction: they do know some things about the company. They have earnings reports and stuff, and they have the stock price and performance history. But the stock price is not trustworthy, because it does not reflect the actions that would occur due to insider trading; that is, because the people with the most information are forbidden from trading with it, the stock price merely reflects information readily available to the public.

So you have these relatively uninformed investors who are confident that government regulation and oversight will make sure that their information is valid, even though it is necessarily incomplete.

In a free stock market, there would be relatively fewer, better-informed investors. Espo (on IRC, don't know his k5 name) pointed out that stock indexes could still exist, contractually requiring discosure of finances as a condition for listing. Even so, without the perception that the stock market is a good place to put your retirement funds, people would be much more careful about in whom they invest.

I guess I haven't proven, or even stated, my point very well. It just seems to me that all of this regulation and stuff is due to regulation as much as to corporate greed. People are suggesting barring high-level Enron management from doing business again, but in a free market they could go ahead and try to start new companies, and none of the well-informed investors would give them any money.

To bring this back as near to ontopic as I can muster, I will say that I agree that many people treat the stock market as a crap shoot. People say you should invest in equity, you have more money coming in than you know what to do with, so you buy a couple hot-sounding stocks based on little or no knowledge.

But it doesn't have to be that way. Don't buy something based on what a few brokerages say about it, or on a single story in the Journal. Research the company, the industry, the executives, and do the same for similar industries. Try to predict what's going to happen. In the stock market more than anywhere else, it seems that knowledge is power.

What are you saying? (none / 0) (#59)
by pexatus on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 03:12:20 PM EST

I can't tell what you're trying to get across. Government regulation of a market is bad? People need to make more informed decisions on investing? It sounds like you say:
  1. More information is better.
  2. Regulation encourages the spreading of information.
  3. Therefore, there should be less regulation, because less regulated markets are more free.
What does it mean when you say, "all of this regulation and stuff is due to regulation"? I'm confused.

[ Parent ]
eh, i'm an idiot (none / 0) (#62)
by tps12 on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 03:29:21 PM EST

Don't worry, it doesn't make sense to me either. What I was trying to say was:
  1. More information is better.
  2. Regulation attempts to encourage the spreading of information.
  3. However, less regulated markets do a better job of spreading information.
  4. Therefore, there should be less regulation, because less regulated markets are more free.
I meant to say, "all of these scandals," not regulation. I'm an idiot.

[ Parent ]
You're right, as usual (en tea) (5.00 / 1) (#65)
by tpsl2 on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 05:12:55 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Why wait? (4.36 / 11) (#53)
by Rogerborg on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 10:59:02 AM EST

Really, why wait for the Apocalypse? Why not just sell up everything and buy a one way ticket to rural Ethiopia? You'll get the austere redemptive lifestyle that you crave.

Before you go though, try surviving for a few months on about 4oz of meal a day mixed with parasite infested water. Spend most of the time lying around wishing that you had the energy to brush the flies off of you. For variety, drag yourself half a mile or so through a disease infested refugee camp to collect the water yourself.

If you want a slightly less Apocalyptic flavour, leave yourself some clothes and perhaps a little field. Do your water run maybe three or four times a day and then decide how important washing becomes compared to cooking and drinking. Pretend you have a tree, and then you get to make the fun decision to leave it standing and die from drinking unboiled water, or cut it down and watch your field turn to dust.

If that's still too much, how about rural Bangladesh? You can scrape out a subsistence living giving the fruits of most of your labour to a gang boss. That way your lifestyle isn't so harsh, but you get the added anguish of seeing how the other half live.

But you wouldn't really enjoy that, would you? You don't actually want to be on the bread line, you just want to watch everyone about you fail and wither. "I told you so," indeed.

Do yourself a favour. Keep reminding yourself that you only feel this way because you're fat and happy and monstrously rich, and it's purely hypothetical. I doubt if it would be so redemptive viewed from the inside.


"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs

Pessimism tat for you. (5.00 / 1) (#63)
by zoobiewa on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 03:52:18 PM EST

I think that half the fun of apocalyptic day dream is that everyone you know will be going through the same hell. That's what is fun. Misery loves company. If everyone in the world died cruel and horrible deaths, hey, those people would all be dead in 100 years anyway. I think it'd be fun to run into people that survived, saw people die. You'd have so much to talk about! It would be an exilerating life if you were one of the ones that survived, and if you didn't it wouldn't really matter. I think that the appeal would be in being one of the lucky ones that survived, so are you lucky or not?

[ Parent ]
Boy, I wish you'd come to Lithuania/elsewhere (5.00 / 2) (#55)
by MickLinux on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 01:50:44 PM EST

The funny thing, is, I see a similar thing, but the formation of a dark age.  No dark age is good, and I am desperate to try and help form at least one enclave of freedom,justice, and charity.  But it's hard to get others to see a similar vision, and my assets are soooo limited.

So it would be nice if someone came to Lithuania, or any other country, and used their money to set up such a thing.  It wouldn't be easy, but I'm betting that if there are a bunch of attempts, a couple of them will work.  I'd be happy if there was just one successful such enclave--I don't even have to know about it, but meanwhile I want to try
to help the situation.

I'd just like to see that there were places where goodness can survive, and those who choose goodness can survive.  I'm worried about the next 50 -> 200 years.

[Aack.  And meanwhile I'm getting this numb tingling in my left hand and leg, meanwhile...  hoping its just hypochondria (normal for me), or stress.  If it isn't, well, one can only do so much.]

I make a call to grace, for the alternative is more broken than you can imagine.

In the last 4 months I'm up 17% (5.00 / 10) (#66)
by maynard on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 06:42:21 PM EST

No, I didn't short the market. Last August I moved my entire 401k over to a mix of government short term, municipal, and corporate bonds. I sold all my stock in my etrade account and used the proceeds to purchase a two family house about a ten minute walk away from Harvard Square, Cambridge. I then borrowed the max against my 401k and used the money to renovate the rental unit, which I proceeded to complete and then rent out. I now live in an unrenovated, ugly, POS... but I got a great interest rate on the mortgage (6.75% no points) and 5.5% on the 401k loan, to be payed back across five years. Finally, four months ago I shifted the remainder of my 401k and my Roth IRA from all bonds to a mix of bonds and gold / precious metals stocks (companies which process precious metals) along with Eurodollar and Yen futures. And in 4 months I've pulled 17% on that investment. I'm about getting ready to shift a large percentage of my 401k and Roth into S&P index, tech index, and a selection of bond funds again -- once the market bottoms out. I figure when everyone is crying in their beer, the average small time investor has written the stock market off forever, the Democrats have completely killed off privatized Social Security (which I support the Dems on BTW), and the Dow is hovering in the mid 6000s it'll be time to buy back in, in force.

Now, that said I got his pretty hard in the NASDAQ crash back in 2000, though I didn't lose much principal -- maybe 5% or so. All along I never believed the television and Motley Fool analysts telling us all to hold and dollar cost average through the mess because anyone with half a brain could tell the market was in a bubble and way too overvalued. Of course, in normal times what they said was perfectly rational. Not then, not now. And in a few months to a year the stock market will again be generating reasonable returns of about 7%-10%, which is all we ought to expect folks.

I haven't given up on the market, and fully expect to jump right back in using traditional index funds and dollar cost averaging once this mess wraps itself up. Don't be fooled by everyone saying the market is just a gambling enterprise and you're an idiot to invest. No... be prudent and listen to your own gut instead of what the financial sector tells you on television and from your broker. Realize that they have an inherent conflict of interest in telling you what to buy and when. And don't be an idiot and stick everything you own in a single stock. Buy mutual funds and/or index funds, a good percentage of tax free municipal bonds, along with a smattering of corporate bonds -- once the market has bottomed out. Then sit and wait while you dollar cost average every payday. Accept the inevitable 5% loss here and there. If the market moves in force PAY ATTENTION.And NEVER play to lose. If you want to lose there are plenty out there who will take your money to win. DUH. While many say you can't time the market, they mean you can't time individual stock swings. You can time long term movements up and down across the entire market if you're willing to take a small loss buying a bit before it bottoms out or selling a bit before it tops off. And don't be fooled into staying in when the writing is on the wall... the folks promoting that are secretly selling behind your back. Witness Ken Lay, G.W. Bush, Cheney, and just about every other corporate executive.

And this coming from a self proclaimed liberal. :)

Cheers,
--Maynard



Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.

Don't meditate! (none / 0) (#70)
by tiamat on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 10:25:25 PM EST

PANIC!!!

The stock market isn't the interesting part... (none / 0) (#71)
by daystar on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 11:57:41 PM EST

The relentless bleakness is.

Over the last several months I have lost... This pleases me.
...
I doubt I will live so long as to ever actually be entitled to withdraw this money.
...
Optimism is an asshole.
...
Pessimism is a far more congenial companion.
...
All my life, I have lived in hope of Apocalypse. The descent of some awful calamity that at once absolves you of your conduct in the past, and of responsibility for the future. Quick deaths for the lucky, freedom from the constraints of existing institutions for the survivors. Won't it be glorious?

I don't know you, or anything about you, but I believe that you have a problem with depression. I promise you that it is possible for life to be good. I hope that you make it.

...being deeply cautious and risk-averse by nature...
I hope so. I'm telling you that you are at risk for an eventual suicide. Your caution should prompt you to go get a book called FEELING GOOD by David Burns.

Good luck. Having been there, I don't envy the pain you are inflicting on yourself.

--
There is no God, and I am his prophet.

I disagree. Therefore, you must be sick. (none / 0) (#81)
by IHCOYC on Wed Jul 24, 2002 at 12:20:46 PM EST

I don't feel "depressed" at all, not in any of the senses suggested, say, by DSM-IV. (The world's greatest party game, BTW. Find your friends! Find yourself!) In fact, much of the article involves finding things to like about the fact that my net worth has declined somewhat. I am a realist, not an optimist; so when things fail to turn out for the worst, I am pleasantly surprised.

Some time ago, I remember seeing a study that suggested that pessimists more accurately assessed risks, and were generally more in touch with reality, than optimists.
--
"Complecti antecessores tuos in spelæis stygiis Tartari appara," eructavit miles primus.
"Vix dum basiavisti vicarium velocem Mortis," rediit Grignr.
--- Livy
[ Parent ]

if you say so.... (none / 0) (#89)
by daystar on Thu Jul 25, 2002 at 12:09:44 AM EST

... but I also know that clinging to a negative outlook tends to give you a hopeless perspective.

Depression isn't sadness, it's hopelessness, and it sucks. I don't think the label's "optimist" and "pessimist" are all that useful, but I think that if you want to consider pessimists as superior risk-assesors, then you also have to take the correlation with depression and suicide into account.

As I said: I don't know anything about you. You may well be a very happy and well-adjusted person, and if so, I think that's great. I also know that I spent a few decades repeating negative things to myself (similar things to what you put in your story) until I was morbidly depressed. Overall, it was less fun than just having a rational, but upbeat outlook from the beginning. That's what the David Burns book is about.

--
There is no God, and I am his prophet.
[ Parent ]

If you want an apocalypse (4.00 / 2) (#80)
by Irobot on Wed Jul 24, 2002 at 12:05:00 PM EST

I hope your end result turns out to be something like Sartre's No Exit, where hell is being trapped in a room with people you don't like and where the furniture doesn't match...

Irobot

The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking one's self seriously. The first is imperative and the second is disastrous. -- Margot Fonteyn

I think it might be great. (5.00 / 1) (#87)
by drquick on Wed Jul 24, 2002 at 04:33:50 PM EST

A major economic crisis would be "fun" for me too.

I spite of all suffering and poverty it'll create, it would be a time of restructuting of power, economic structure, trade and investment flows.

Times of economic boom have actually been times of some minor wealth resdistribution but, no restructuring of power or dominance. Times of recession really puts some fire under the butts of those who have power now. You'll just have to do some restructuring :-)

Predictions and what-not (none / 0) (#88)
by Sheepdot on Wed Jul 24, 2002 at 07:27:08 PM EST

Ignore the filth I spew:

Recovery from this 1981-1983 recession will put us at ends with foreign competition finally catching throughout decade.. STOP.. Germany the big leader, with many US business marrying as per Japan mid to late eighties.. STOP.

Fashion cheese and horribly computerized (heavy synth) music and soundtracks as Hollywood continues to develop cheap sequels to all our favoritie movies.. STOP.. There will be a sequel to "Dude Where's my Car".. STOP.

2003 March marks recovery with the possiblity of a war-driven economy to perk and offer slow gains through decade.. STOP.. The time to invest is January.. STOP.

Sheepdot might finally get laid.. STOP.. Oh wait, never mind, we got a decade or two for that yet.. STOP.

Stock Market Meditations | 90 comments (77 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
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