Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sitting cross-legged on my couch

NPR playing in the background, the light from the kitchen lamps glowing yellow behind me, I sit alone in my living room pondering about everything and nothing. Highs in the upper 50s tomorrow, right now 46 degrees in Seattle, and I have not done anything to write home about this past week. Mind you, if mountains could be moved with thoughts, I'd be in the phone book under "Mountain Mover". I want to take off during lunch and run on the asphalt all the way to the Lake, but I always find a way to stay inside instead. Maybe tomorrow is the day when I also open my investment account; in my defense, I did call my brokerage firm to help me with this but didn't get a call back. It's interesting to note that human inertia is the reason that businesses both thrive and perish. More validation for the aphorism, "one man's food, another man's poison."

Talking about the duality of inertia, my thoughts wander to the stock market. You must be wondering about my decision to invest in this market. I don't fault you for thinking that I've gone bonkers. It's almost impossible to be affected by the dire musings of today's economists - the global economy is in crisis; it's like we're in the Titanic and a collision with an iceberg is inevitable. Most people who were heavily invested in the stock market have witnessed the devouring of their nest egg. The worst is yet to come according to the analysts - most corporations are soon going to feel the pinch resulting in layoffs for some and little to no pay-scale increases for the rest. Small businesses have started going under, retailers are reporting that shoppers are no longer shopping for anything more than the essentials, and it looks like it's going to be a black Christmas. All of this without any respite from increasing commodity prices. Isn't it odd then, sinister even, to see some folks seize the opportunity and find as many ways as possible to turn a profit in this down market? I see the emergence of more and more debt management companies, almost anything can now be rented, condos are being turned into rental apartments, and the biggest surprise - people like me who have waited for this exact moment are now ready to invest. I don't think there has been a better time to invest in the market - the smart investor invests when the prices are at their lowest, when no one else can buy because they are out of funds, when the others are facing a crisis. I promise I'll invest with a heavy heart, stay away from technology stocks, and commiserate with the loss of others around me. You, the one reading this - have some money to spare? Invest it already! If you make a profit, do the right thing and donate some of it to a local shelter...

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