Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Avuncular Marginalization

A few months ago, I got word that my uncle had bought some General Motors. I think the stock was a lofty $6 or $7 per share. (It hit 1.27 last week.)

Why did he buy it? Who knows?

I do know that he consulted my sister (his niece) that works for GM.

What next? Ask Ken Lewis if his company is a good buy?

He DID NOT consult me as I would never have endorsed that move. (Last May I shorted this turd at 17.73 and made 3 points. Should have held it!)

Let me tell y'all something about CaptiousNut - that I'm sure I've mentioned before.

When I meet a plumber, I take that opportunity to ask him about pipe issues I may be having.

When I'm socializing with a car person (mechanic, truck driver, etc) I lay the problems of my clunkers on them.

When I'm around real estate people, I ask them about real estate. (Then I usually enlighten THEM.)

When I meet someone in a business I've know little about, I fire all sorts of questions at them; I pick their brains to edify myself.

When I hang out with teachers, I ask them how to educate kids.


Alright, I admit the last one was a JOKE.

But you catch my drift.

If you had a nephew who traded stocks professionally for 13 years, wouldn't you, ever, ask for a consult?

My uncle has never once asked me anything about the markets. Of course he has a *financial adviser* who's convinced him to dump money in mutual funds EVERY MONTH.

Now, my uncle is bright man - he'll even tell you himself. I'll bet y'all never knew that 40 years ago, his alma mater Holy Cross was as good a school as Harvard. (Then they went coed....)

Furthermore, he's a doctor, a neurologist.

The more I thought about his little knife-catch of GM, the more it irked me.

What kills me, is that whenever I have a medical issue, personally or in my family, he's the first one I call. I can't tell you how many times over the years I've called him late at night to ask about some ailment.

[By the way, if I meet you socially and will only broach mundane subjects like sports and the weather....that means I've deemed you a fount of *nothing*.]


Anonymous said...

I think its amusing to talk to people who have rather large positions in their former company's stock despite major losses. Usually they state, well it pays a nice dividend. Sir, the dividend is 5% but the stock depreciated 40% last yr. They can't put two and two together...I talk to a lot of GM, Ford, Delphi people and 99% will ride these stocks straight into the ground without batting an eye...

Taylor Conant said...

Friend of a friend heard me and my friend talking about some moves I had made in the market recently (this was several months ago) and he informed us of his genius decision to buy GM. I asked why he had done that and he said "It was only $3 a share, it seemed cheap."


Paul Mitchell said...

Cap, most people would say that you are being rude and trying to get free information. I am not most people.

Folks love to talk about themselves and love it when you ask those type of questions. I get further enjoyment because it is kinda like stealing. With the victim right in front of you.

I add journalists to your teacher column of useless people with whom to converse. Ever talk to a Globe reporter?

CaptiousNut said...


GM is cheap!


Yes I have spoken to a Globe reporter - click here.

I also know a laid-off Globe editor.

The dumbest set may be real estate agents. Yes, I think they're much more clueless than stock brokers ("financial advisers").

Paul Mitchell said...

As could be expected on the Globot. You should read my local, The Clarion Ledger, the folks that publish that dog trainer are unqualified to work at Taco Bell.