Thursday, March 27, 2008


I had an interesting conversation with a friend a little while ago about her long drawn-out and dramatic break-up with an ex. At the point where she was complaining that once he figured out she wasn't going to be making millions as a fancy corporate lawyer he was ready to go, the whole schema of human romance was immediately and nakedly laid out before me.

"Your stock dropped." I said.

"Yes," she agreed. "My stock dropped."

Maybe it's because I am myself hurtling into the corporate and securities world (although hardly making millions), but lately I've been looking around at my particular holdings in an effort to glean whether I should sell, buy, or simply hold out and await the prospects.

There's also shorting, and naked shorting - but I don't like men who cheat on their significant others. Or who try to manipulate the market to satisfy their greed.

For the record, I've always believed the best portfolio is a diversified one. Investing all my funds in one particular venture has proven in the past to cause catastrophic losses. I have also tried to steer away from mutual funds and institutional investors because leaving my dating choices in the hands of third parties has often led to unanticipated loss of worth.

It has lately occurred to me that someone from the past has recently risen in value. This stock has held steady for quite some time, with a sudden dip from unfortunate external circumstances. But it's proven in the past to be an excellent long term investment, provided the investor has the daring to hold out through the dips. And attempted hostile takeovers.

Cynical, cynical. But am I? Comparing the dating game with my shallow understanding of the market, I can come up with figures that would make the averages rise and fall.

Examples (based on an average in a hypothetical efficient market starting at $10/shr):

(For some real fun, calculate your own!)

Causes for stock increases:

1. Winning national martial art competitions.
2. Graduate degrees. Double if the person getting the degree can actually make money with it.
3. Chiseled jaws. Chiseled abs. The ability to use a chisel.
4. An understanding of the absurdity of every human action and a willingness to laugh at it.
5. Speaking another language. Bonus if it's spoken natively.
6. Ability to match pants with shirt. Even better if socks are not conspicuous.
7. A great love for the outdoors. And the living things in it.
8. A great love for the indoors. Particularly when I am the living thing in it.
9. Having a favorite quote that does not come from a Bond movie or the Godfather trilogy.
10. Some artistic pursuit that does not involve self-mutilation or bodily fluids.

Stock falling fast:

1. A criminal record. Double loss if it's a felony.
2. Love handles or beer gut. Or that weird facial hair around the mouth, especially when accompanied by a dirty baseball cap.
3. Having The Complete Work of the Marquis de Sade next to the bed. With knives on top.
4. Mispronouncing foreign words while making it apparent that they think they are pronouncing them correctly.
5. Having kids. With different women.
6. Starting a sentence with "When I was on Jerry Springer...."
7. Starting a sentence with "When I was on The O'Reilly factor..."
8. Starting a sentence at all if there's nothing intelligent or complimentary in it. (Exception to this is #3 under stock increases).
9. Not loving dogs.
10. Psycho ex-girlfriends. That you still talk to. Constantly.

I'll be watching the market for any unexpected jumps. But so far my investments seem to be holding steady if not declining in value. Perhaps I'll look for a white knight*.

("white knights," a friendly bidding firm actively sought by a target firm in order to avoid being taken over by a hostile bidding firm. White knights are particularly vulnerable to overbidding for their targets, i.e., bidding more than the aggregate market value of the target's common stock, since they are, by definition, involved in a competitive bidding contest. )

Not that you could ever overbid me of course.

No comments: