Have I Got an Investment Idea for You!!

Cosmo cosmopolitan 1896 old cover

Top Cosmo story in 1896:  What the
size of his top hat says about his cane. 

The economy sucks.  Actually, I'm misquoting my high school students who said that Economics class is boring, and henceforth, sucks (okay, HS students don't say henceforth either).  The stock market, to its credit,  has hovered around 13000 for a while, which is only a number, but economists are almost as superstitious about meaningless numbers as baseball players are, so 13000 is at least a moderately strong number.  Course business people and Cosmo magazine will tell you, that it’s volume, not size, that matters when it comes to the stock market. 

The economy has not been robust since the days when people were buying homes for half a million on yearly salaries of $45K, and creatively crazy bankers were finding a way to finance them in 2007.  Or like the days pre-9/11 when any business with a website, was one worth investing in.  My custom domain site, 98°pogslammers.com netted me thousands of dollars in ad revenue, but zero dollars in actual sales (in retrospect, it’s not smart to put symbols that people can’t find on their keyboard in a URL).  Many a disappointed kid has received one of these POG toys from me as a gift the last fifteen years in an effort to liquidate my back stock. 

1990s pogs slammers Beavis body glove bad boy

Why?  Why did people ever buy these? 

My grandpa has made a few mini-fortunes on the stock market, and lost them as well.  He invested in Motorola back in the mid-80s when the only thing they were known for was walkie-talkies and CB radios.  When chunky cell phones became the rage, he pocketed a pretty penny.  He also threw his nest egg into CompuServe at the end of that decade, and watched his stock portfolio grow with each minute we waited for our dialup to load at 14.4kbit/s.  

Annoy your kids with this little memory. 

My grandpa is still giving me advice on how to make money in this or any economy, and usually I listen but realize I have no capitol to invest in his money-making opportunities.  He suggested gold bullion a number of years back, but I only had enough cash flow for bars of pyrite.  It looks the same to me, but unfortunately I couldn't fool the bank. 

Most people who have money in a market fund, unquestionably take the advice of their analyst, because it is a full time job just following the quirks and variances in the marketplace.  It used to be that companies that made money, were worth investing in.  But now, companies have to increase their revenue and profit in a steady line graph upward.  This kind of capitalism makes no sense.  Good companies, like good marriages, are going to have rocky patches.  What makes them good, is their ability to find ways around their issues, and focus on the aspects that make them strong in the first place.  Analysts like to divorce themselves (and our money) of any company that came home with the wrong type of fabric softener.  “I said Downy April Fresh, not Purex Classic Lavender; are you stupid?!!” 

KFC dipping sauces ranch bbq honey mustard

Who hasn't got into a huge
fight over KFC dipping
sauces?  Okay, vegetarians.  

I once knew a guy who got a divorce based on a fight that started over KFC dipping sauces.  That’s how uncommitted stock holders are to their stocks.  Does this really seem like a good system?  A guy with twenty-seven hundred dollars invested in a company is more valuable than the guy who has worked at that company for twenty seven years.  “Sorry, Hank.  We had to outsource your job to Sri Lanka, 'cause investor #435628R was thinking we weren’t diversified enough.” 

If I had money to invest in stocks right now, it would be in the Nissin Food company.  The people behind the college staples of Top Ramen and Cup Noodles (which eliminated the O’ from their name, almost causing investors to panic in 1993).  The reason I recommend this product is because of the coming destruction of the world in Dec. 2012.  Of course, if the Mayans are right, investments would be futile.  “He who dies with the soundest investment plan, wins in the afterlife,” is not going to be a No Fear shirt anytime soon.   But if the world doesn’t end, there are still going to be millions of people who panicked and 
2nd place is the first loser No Fear shirt

Ironically, everyone who owned one of these
shirts was never any good at any sport.  

stocked up on food products to survive the Apocalypse.  Even Costco, a retail chain I actually respect, sells these kits that come in 5 gallon buckets that will feed families for months or years on dehydrated space-food.  But those Costco kits sell for hundreds of dollars, and the average Apocalypse survivor only has about $75 dollars to spend on post-calamity foodstuffs.  But even a hundred dollars will buy enough Ramen to fill up a 55 gallon drum.  Hopefully they have room in their 55 gallon drums.  Mine are all full of moonshine and ammunition (both essential to fighting off a tyrannical government).  

Clearly, I have no business investing in stocks or day trading.  Which is why I’m going to stick to the one sound investment I have consistently seen an amazing return on.  Legos.  Specifically, Star Wars Legos, but I have made money on Harry Potter Legos, and even your run of the mill castle Legos.  For some reason, nostalgia, pity on the poor Danes,  limited supply, or kids logging onto their parent's eBay accounts, I have been able to make over four times the amount of money I've spent on Legos, selling them a few years later on eBay.  I recently sold a Boba Fett mini-figure for over $150.00 (it's actually my avatar for this site).  I sold about $400.00 worth of my wife's Harry Potter Lego sets for almost $1800.  I have yet to lose money on a single Lego sale online.  I figure I'm just taking advantage of a strange Darwinian phenomenon, in that, there is an overabundance of nerds in the world right now.  Evolutionarily, this will correct itself, as they will own thousands of little pieces of plastic people and figures, instead of breeding with any living creature and creating a breathing person.  But for now, their interpersonal skills loss is my monetary gain.  I realize that owning Star Wars Legos in the first place makes me somewhat nerdy; but like I've always said, I draw the line at dressing up as a Star Wars character.  

dog dressed in star wars gear leia darth vadar yoda

I'm not sure if dressing up your pet is worse than dressing up yourself...

But isn't that a perfect market system?  Finding people who want a product, and supplying them with what they want? Hedging bets based on what people want, or predicting when interest will fade on a product seems like a strange way to make money, or base an economic system on.  But I guess it is the American way, and I better get behind it.  Maybe I should invest in PepsiCo., as they make Aquafina, and  I'm going to need plenty of potable water to boil for all my Ramen noodles after the Armageddon.  And if that doesn't happen, hopefully somebody will invest in books and bloggers, 'cause I could really use a few dollars to reinvest in Legos.    


  1. You share a similar viewpoint as my 11th grade American History teacher. Who is still my favorite teacher. Thanks for taking me back a little.

  2. Charlie Brown...says,
    Wow a world class economist dressed up as a high school history teacher and crazy story teller. Boomer humorists better watch out. I wonder how over the head of your target audience this last blog pushed. Wild man Crammer on CNBC is coming knocking on your door or at least The Huffington Post is watching.