Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Morons and oxymorons

Days like these, I'm wondering if "Intelligent Investor" is an oxymoron. Or a moron any which way. From Drexel to Barings to Lehman, doesn't it seem like Wall Street never learns? Say it again now - there's a sucker born every minute. And no one gets smarter. These Americans have made it into an art.

Interesting post over at the WSJ Intelligent Investor blog with stuff like this:
Question authority. If the financial world really were coming to an end, nobody would know it -- least of all the pundits who are currently crying doom. In 1929, experts ranging from the legendary trader Jesse Livermore to John D. Rockefeller and Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon all declared that falling stock prices were nothing to worry about. They were wrong. The lesson is not that it's a mistake to be an optimist in falling markets, but rather that it's a mistake to trust the consensus view of the experts. With the mood on Wall Street now as dark as a mushroom farm, optimists are much more likely than pessimists to be proven right in the end.
Reminds me of my own post in March. We've got enough kooks and fruitcakes on Dalal Street doling out their own Sensex targets and their own reasoning. Often most of these range from the utterly banal (global meltdown) to the boringly predictable (the charts are looking good). Go figure.

The only thing I know is that profit = selling price - cost price. Buying low and selling high is incredibly tough in markets like these. But it's also the text book definition of profit. Not sure how many have heard of it.