What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

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What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby larryswedroe » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:21 am

Hope you find this interesting, perhaps remind yourself about a time when doing nothing would have been better than the action you took

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-57593283/what-george-costanza-can-teach-us-about-investing/

Best wishes
Larry
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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby Quasimodo » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:53 am

Speaking as someone who has shot himself in the foot many times, thank you for a great article, Larry!

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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby ogd » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:10 pm

Love "The Opposite". In another episode (season 1) George is even directly investing in a stock. After much hair pulling, he ends up making money by holding, vs Jerry who decided he couldn't handle it and bailed out at the bottom. Sort of like 2009 but with hot stock tips in the picture -- Seinfeld is always a little morally ambivalent like that.

(I'm assuming that nobody gets upset about Seinfeld spoilers after decades of reruns)
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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby Mark13 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:19 pm

I believe George once won a contest by "staying the course" longer than his peers. :wink:
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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby Cautious Optimist » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:32 pm

George was certainly cost averse and would likely chafe (perhaps like his suit did in one episode) at the idea of high ER's...
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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby SSN688 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:49 pm

@Mark: When the plane was going down in the last episode, George admitted to cheating in "the contest," thus demonstrating what happens when we don't stay the course. I believe he did invest in cheese (block) futures, though.
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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby Kurmudjon » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:49 pm

Mark13 wrote:I believe George once won a contest by "staying the course" longer than his peers. :wink:

Excellent and true :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby momar » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:58 pm

In order to manage risk, we must first understand risk. How do you spot risk? How do you avoid risk? And what makes it so risky?
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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby mlewis » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:29 pm

I pulled this sentence from the 2nd to last paragraph of the article.

"Similarly, while the markets rebounded from hitting bottom on March 6, 2009, investors pulled billions of dollars out of stocks."

Could somebody explain this to me a bit.

As I would tell it, stock prices get bid up and bid down. No money comes "in" or "out" of stocks.
However, if you're talking about what the shares are worth, then how is money being "pulled out" in aggregate at the same time that prices are rising. If prices are rising, then by definition isn't money "going in" (or, more accurately being bid up- for every buyer there is a seller.)
It would seem to me the only way for money to be "pulled out" while prices are rising is for there to be shares taken off the market, or repurchased- perhaps that is the source of this claim?

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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby ogd » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:33 pm

mlewis wrote:It would seem to me the only way for money to be "pulled out" while prices are rising is for there to be shares taken off the market, or repurchased- perhaps that is the source of this claim?

I think Larry means individual investors -- which appear to have surrendered some of the capital gains from 2009 to the institutionals.
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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby meowcat » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:47 pm

King of Queens had a pretty good episode called "Net Prophets". Pretty funny. Doug Heffernan just could not stand to watch his one stock go up and down. It was a perfect episode that clearly showed what happens when you try to time the market.
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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby Default User BR » Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:26 am

meowcat wrote:King of Queens had a pretty good episode called "Net Prophets". Pretty funny. Doug Heffernan just could not stand to watch his one stock go up and down. It was a perfect episode that clearly showed what happens when you try to time the market.

I remember when Wally and Beaver were investing in the stock market. Ward wanted them to invest in staid Mayfield Power and Light, while the boys went speculative with Jet Electro. It went up and up, then crashed. I am not making this up!


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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby linenfort » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:35 am

Ah, the wisdom of George Costanza: do the opposite. I have always loved that concept. He's a wise fool!

Default User BR wrote:I remember when Wally and Beaver were investing in the stock market. Ward wanted them to invest in staid Mayfield Power and Light, while the boys went speculative with Jet Electro. It went up and up, then crashed.

Eddie Haskell's influence?
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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby dmcmahon » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:52 am

I thought the article was going to be on shrinkage.
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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby Howard Donnelly » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:05 am

Thank you, Larry. Great article.
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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby RobertAlanK » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:46 am

dmcmahon wrote:I thought the article was going to be on shrinkage.

My first thought too. I worry about what this says about our perspective. :happy
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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby Default User BR » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:36 pm

linenfort wrote:
Default User BR wrote:I remember when Wally and Beaver were investing in the stock market. Ward wanted them to invest in staid Mayfield Power and Light, while the boys went speculative with Jet Electro. It went up and up, then crashed.

Eddie Haskell's influence?

Of course.


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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby jginseattle » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:52 pm

There was also an episode where George was excited about investing in a company that had developed "a new way to televise opera".
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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby pinebarrens1 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:32 pm

funny how in later year episodes George started yelling more....just like his parents. May have been from working for Steinbrenner. I think that happened to Billy Martin too...
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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby nedsaid » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:59 pm

Good article. Yes our emotions and enthusiasm can let us down. Mostly, I have made the right decisions but I have my klunkers as well.

Buying ethanol stocks and a biofuels stock. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Selling Lucent in the tech market bear market only to buy Nortel. Nortel went bankrupt but after I sold it.

Buying a couple of 1990's darling growth stocks at "cheap" prices in the 2000's bear markets. They got cheaper and remained cheaper for quite a while.

Selling a well-known Growth fund just before it started to perform a lot better.

There is a saying in business that things are never as good as they look when they are going good. Things are never as bad as they look when they are going bad. This really serves an individual investor well. If you can look at down markets as an opportunity to make money, that really helps.
A fool and his money are good for business.
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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby minesweep » Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:26 pm

Default User BR wrote:
meowcat wrote:King of Queens had a pretty good episode called "Net Prophets". Pretty funny. Doug Heffernan just could not stand to watch his one stock go up and down. It was a perfect episode that clearly showed what happens when you try to time the market.

I remember when Wally and Beaver were investing in the stock market. Ward wanted them to invest in staid Mayfield Power and Light, while the boys went speculative with Jet Electro. It went up and up, then crashed. I am not making this up!Brian

I believe you:

"Leave It to Beaver" Stocks and Bonds (1962)

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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby widestance » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:46 pm

I figured George's strategy would be to yell "SERENITY NOW!" on a RBD.
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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby second-guesser » Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:55 pm

I am not much of a fan of shrinkage but prefer my returns to be described as --
" they're real and spectacular "
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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby baw703916 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:20 am

George knew that you can never have too fat a wallet. :)
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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby mickeyd » Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:59 pm

Kurmudjon wrote:
Mark13 wrote:I believe George once won a contest by "staying the course" longer than his peers. :wink:

Excellent and true :mrgreen: :mrgreen:



In the final (?) episode I believe that he admitted to Jerry that he cheated in order to win the contest.
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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby minesweep » Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:43 pm

Kurmudjon wrote:
Mark13 wrote:I believe George once won a contest by "staying the course" longer than his peers. :wink:

Excellent and true :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

While dining at Monk's Cafe, Elaine tells Jerry and George that she is suffering from an allergic reaction to her boyfriend Robert's cats. Jerry contemplates asking his girlfriend Vanessa (Lynn Clark) to go away on a holiday together. George reads the business section of the newspaper, where he learns that a stock that a friend of a friend of his -- Simon's friend Wilkinson -- had tipped him off to had gone up. George decides to invest $5000 in the stock and persuades Jerry to invest $2,500.

Jerry is in a grocery store with Vanessa, after they visited the cinema. He manages to persuade Vanessa to go away with him to a bed-and-breakfast in Vermont. Meanwhile, he reads the newspaper in hope that his stock has gone up, but it has in fact fallen in value. The next day, Kramer (Michael Richards) tells Jerry that his stock has fallen again. Jerry calls George to get advice from Wilkinson, the man who gave the stock tip in the first place, but no one can find him. George rings him back and tells Jerry that Wilkinson is in hospital. While visiting the dry cleaner, Jerry tells George that he wants to sell his stock, but George insists that the tip is good and they should keep the stock. Eventually, George says he will go and visit Wilkinson to find out what they should do, despite the fact that George does not know him personally.

At Jerry's apartment, Elaine says that the only way that she can get rid of Robert's cats is if they should have some form of "accident" and offers Jerry the job, but he refuses. Kramer tells Jerry that his stock has fallen yet again. George then returns from visiting Wilkinson, but he has no information because he was thrown out of the hospital when Wilkinson saw him. Jerry decides to sell his shares, while George decides to "go down with the ship". Jerry takes Vanessa to Vermont, but rainy weather keeps them stuck inside the bed-and-breakfast. He regrets going with her because boredom causes them to argue. Jerry reads the business section of the newspaper to see what happened to the stock since he sold it. The stock has risen dramatically. Vanessa then claims that Jerry only took her to Vermont because he lost so much money. Back in New York, George is celebrating the rising price of his stock, which has increased by $8,000. Elaine says that she gave Robert an ultimatum, and he chose the cats. George then tells Jerry and Elaine that Wilkinson has another stock tip involving some sort of "robot butcher."

The Stock Tip

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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby Kalo » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:03 pm

From Seinfeld episode, seems appropriate to BH philosophy on risk and return, and letting investments perform over the years:

GEORGE: Oh my God, I forgot to tell you. I got a letter today from the State Controller's Office. Y'know when I was going to public school back in Brooklyn, every week I used to put fifty cents in the Lincoln Savings Bank.

JERRY: Yeah, I did that too.

GEORGE: Yeah, You remember the, the little eh, bank book, there?

JERRY: Sure.

GEORGE: Alright, so I haven't put anything in it since sixth grade, I completely forgot about it. The State Controller's Office tracks me down. The interest has accumulated to 1,900 dollars. 1,900 dollars! They're sending me a cheque!

JERRY: Wow!

GEORGE: Hu-Yeah, interest. It's an amazing thing. You make money without doing anything...

JERRY: Y'know I have some friends who try and base their whole life on that principle.

GEORGE: Really? Who?

JERRY: Nobody you know...

GEORGE: Maybe I'll go down to the track. Put it all on a horse...

JERRY: Why don't you put it in the *bank*?

GEORGE: The *bank*? This is *found* money. I want to *parlay* it. I wanna make a big score!

JERRY: *Oh*, you mean you wanna *lose* it...
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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby mickeyd » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:09 pm

They're sending me a cheque!


I don't recall George speaking with an English accent.
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Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

Postby tc101 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:24 pm

Here is the Opposite.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vyb5dkQZPw

Hilarious and true.
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