Monday, January 19, 2009

stocks commodities bonds poets

Capitalism has been with us for a long time,
and shenanigans have also. Love it, hate it;
it is not likely to disappear unless greed
prevails and ultimately decimates all things.
Meanwhile, there are highly active public
markets where participants daily make money
and lose money. I have no idea how many of
those who make poems have ever been, or
are now in, any of those markets, but I do
know it is possible to consistently make
money in them without going into debt if
one is in tune with one's personallty and is
savvy enough and has a legitimate job or
other source of cash and a connection with
a brokerage that isn't just for the elite.
Further, one does not need to pay anyone
for advice, and shouldn't. I recently read
about a couple who years ago pooled their
extra money and used it to buy stock in a
single solid utility which paid dividends
they could reinvest in that company. How
much they put in and how frequently I do
not know, but they amassed over two million
dollars. Markets without participants are
dead markets. I was once a buyer of stocks
because I wanted to be a philanthropist. I
would not have spent my gains on myself as
it is not in me show off in that way, but I
totally messed up because I was not in tune
with my personality and I lacked the savvy
I needed during those years. It wasn't that
I didn't know many of the ins and outs, it
was just that my stubbornness led me to try
an approach I wasn't sufficiently prepared
to use consistently to my benefit. There
have been investors who formed investment
clubs and did quite well. Poets could do
the same. Perhaps some have. Love it,
hate it; in a society where creativity
leads to the establishment of companies
which then go through the initial public
offering process so others can share in
and support their growth is not on its
face an evil. Though my knowledge of the
company that day was nil, I could have
purchased a few shares of Dell for around
$5 a share shortly after its IPO. Don't
recall why I stopped in at the brokerage
I was using, but I briefly interrupted a
conversation between two investors and a
broker. One of the investors had shares
of Home Depot which were moving higher;
the other investor had shares of Dell he
was thinking of selling because those
shares were moving lower. I didn't have
time to learn more, and I never tried to
on my own.

I still own twenty or more books on how
to invest. One of them is Barron's
Finance and Investment Handbook
1986. Much has changed since then, but
this book has well over 900 pages of
information. The lead editors were
John Downes and Jordan Elliot Goodman.
Here is a passage on page 29 I placed 2
squiggly red ink lines to the left of:
Even with modern policies,
however, the question persists:
Why sacrifice a portion of in-
come to an insurance company
when pure protection can be
more cheaply obtained through
term insurance and returns as
good or better can be obtained
by investing directly? The an-
swer depends on an individual's
expertise, self-confidence, and
willingness to spend time man-
aging investments.

I've never delved into commodities and
bonds, but as some say: There's always
a bull market in currencies.


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