The color of money

Being a Cancer, money is near and dear to my heart. I was never happier as a child as when I discovered that I had saved 100 pennies in my toy bank and realized I had a whole dollar.

 

This penchant for saving wars with the other side of my Cancerian nature—the clothes-loving, wannabe fashionista part. Surely, there are other Cancers out there who understand this dichotomy.

 

Regardless, there comes a time in everyone’s life when we have to think about money. Not just paying bills, but long-term future stuff—like, are we going to be homeless at 90 or surrounded by Chihuahuas, yarn stash and cool, age-appropriate outfits?

 

After the stock market slid into the toilet bowl during the early Oughts, we employed a financial advisor, a really nice, brilliant guy who talked about puts and calls and shorting the market and all this sophisticated crap. The one time I asked him about socially responsible investing, he looked at me like I was bananas. And he hated individual stocks, which I like to play with.

 

Mr. Smarty Pants generated voluminous reports and traded like a wild man, moving money in and out of funds so fast, you’d think he was betting horses. All this financial tap dancing created so much paperwork at tax time, Mitch was ready to kill him. Smarty Pants did alright during down years, but last year, when the market was really humping, he didn’t do so hot. This year Smarty Pants got a pink slip.

 

So the money, such as it is, is back in our court. The rest of Mitch’s family uses another guy, a sweet gentle man who follows the stock market with the zeal of a Cubbies fan. We like him, but feel wary about throwing our lot in with someone new right now. Plus, it’s a boatload of work. So now we’re kerfluffling about trying to figure out what to do.

 

I like Warren Buffett’s take on the market. He only buys stuff, he understands, which, when I’ve bought stock is what I’ve done. After 9/11 I bought Joann’s, figuring if I was lurking the in aisles of craft stores, others were. (I’ve since sold it.) When mad cow disease became big news, I bought Horizon organics, thinking that people would want to be trusting the cows making their milk. I’ve sold that too. I bought True Religion jeans because I couldn’t afford True Religion jeans. I hung in with them for a while, but that one made me nervous. I sold it for a small loss, but if I’d held a few more weeks, well, hindsight is 20/20.

 

 OK, now I gotta get to work. To be continued...

 

Comments (3) -

July 17. 2007 00:42

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I just attended the first meeting of my new women's investment group, organized by a friend. There are 10 of us, and we'll invest $50 a month after each of us researches a company or two and votes on our favorites. We're using Chicks Laying Nest Eggs (.com) as a guide. Cheesy site, but the concepts seem sound. You might see if there's such a club near you, or start one. I wouldn't put all my eggs in that basket, but it's impetus for learning more about the market and researching companies, and may help in quizzing potential financial advisors. We are also focused on socially responsible investing.

Kitt |

July 17. 2007 01:12

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Puts and calls? Oh, geez. My first job was at a private commodities and options firm, which left me with a seriously jaundiced view of investing, what with a crook's eye view and all.

(If you're old enough to remember the silver and gold price spike in 79/80, caused by the Hunts, et al, this company was hip-deep in it. There was one day where the employees who processed trades were waiting for a raid by federal marshals. I was so glad I was just a computer geek ...)

Catherine D. |

July 17. 2007 04:38

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nope you aren't the only cancer like that and I know the plight oh too well Smile

stinkerbell |

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