Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Seeing red?

You know those little ticker symbols for stocks? That show how much up or down a stock is on any given day? Almost anywhere you look, there's a pretty consistent standard that when a stock is up, it's green, and if it's down, it's red.

I read recently that red is bad--just the color itself scares people.... or something like that. They see red, and red means bad. It means stop. It makes people do irrational things like panic and sell their stocks, often when they should be buying more.

Now if you're someone that is buying stock, it is in your best interests for the price of stocks to go down. You don't get excited when your favorite lunch place raises prices, so why would you get excited when the stocks you want to buy go up in price? It's completely irrational.

So here's my suggestion: Switch the colors. If you're a net buyer of stocks, constantly adding more money to your portfolio, the stock prices should turn green when the stocks go down, and they should turn red when prices go up. Red is bad. Higher stock prices are bad. Lower stock prices are good.

It's the way the world should work--at least for net buyers of stock. Perhaps they'll become better investors, buying more when those numbers turn green, and perhaps panic selling when things turn red. At least it follows more of a buy low and sell high strategy that way.

If you're retiring and looking to sell out, well obviously, the current method works just fine. You want stock prices to go up, and green is good. =) You don't want stock prices to go down, and red is bad. (But still, wouldn't you rather sell on an up day?)

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Butterfly Effect

I'm sitting here, when the latest issue of BussinessWeek, and just read this line: Bosses are particularly pessimistic about employment, with 34% saying they expect a hiring dip in the next 90 days. That's troubling, since the survey's take on hiring typically foreshadows the jobs numbers put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics six months on.

Stupid, pessimistic bosses. If they only knew that by lightning up a little bit, it would be good for the economy.

But wait a minute, I thought. What if the bosses were pessimistic because employees were complaining too much? Maybe we should start taking a survey of employees attitudes, since clearly they're more inclined to complain to the boss when they're in a bad mood as well.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say we could be surveying the better halves of these workers, because if they're distressed, obviously it must be because of problems at home.

In fact.... to push this a bit further, if we survey the kids of such families, we'd learn early on when there are problems in the household, causing them to bring their problems into work with them, causing the boss to feel depressing, causing hirings to slow, and the economy to slow. We might be able to know the economy is in danger of slowing FIVE YEARS before it happens! Six months, ha. Think big, people.

Wait a minute, but what if the problems at home are because the boss cut the breadwinner's pay to save money. Money is the number one cause of problems in marriages, after all. Maybe it really is the boss's fault after all. =)

Of course, maybe the boss wouldn't have had to cut their pay if the employees worked just a little bit harder and stopped spending so much time on Atlas Quest or any other noteworthy website. Of course, if I didn't create such an amazing website, people wouldn't be able to use it.

Maybe it's really my fault. Did my lone little website cause the fall of the global economy? Yikes! Sorry about that, folks. I'll try not to let it happen again. =)

Friday, October 05, 2007

I went to Costco today....

...and they had Christmas stuff for sale, and I even heard a Christmas song playing somewhere there in the background. I wanted to cry. It wasn't even Christmas. I saw my first pumpkins less than a week ago, and now we're already to Christmas?

Sometimes I wonder why they even bother to take down the Christmas decorations at all. Maybe Christmas only comes once a year, but does it really have to last three months?!