Yesterday, the lead article in the LA Times read something like, “Market Slump: Good Times Feared Over.” Whenever I see something like this, first I get scared, and then I wonder: Good Times? For whom? Honestly, I don’t remember any Good Times. I think I grew up—1945-1970—in Good Times. But since then things have mostly sucked. First there was the Oil Thing, and then the inflation scare, and then the Tax Revolt, and ever since Reagan it’s been the dog eat dog philosophy that has led to an ever increasing gap between the rich and the poor, and more people becoming poor every day. Numbers lie of course, but some argue the real spending power of your mythical average American has not increased since the early 70’s.
So good times for Whom? I ask again. Good times for the Readers of the LA Times, I guess, most of whom are presumed to be “investors.”
So I guess I missed out on the Good Times.
I mentioned the headline to a guy at the club. A former student in fact from around 1984. Hell, that was more than 20 years ago. He has a wife, a house, kids, and a business now that involves water, something or other to do with water. Maybe he is a water consultant. Anyway, I mentioned the article to him.
He said he thought he had made a mistake following his father’s strategy. I didn’t know what he was talking about and ask what strategy that might be. “Just to hold on forever,” he said, or something like that.
Oh, I said, invest and not touch it.
Yea, he said, but that didn’t seem to be working now.
I said I didn’t think my father had an investment strategy except maybe to take the money and bury it in a can in the back yard.
That he said was not a wise strategy since inflation would eat you alive.
So my former student’s father had an investment strategy and he actually knew about it and grew up with a father who had an investment strategy. If you are a person who has a father with an investment strategy you are likely to have one yourself. But since my father didn’t have any investments at all, I never had a strategy, and didn’t invest at all.
That’s Carol and me out on the picture taking spot on the bluffs above the ocean. We were sitting out there about 15 year ago and a student in one of my classes walked by with her camera and took a picture, and at the end of the quarter she gave it to me. It appears we are talking, though I have no idea what we might have been talking about. Perhaps our investment strategy.