Monday, January 11, 2010

This is getting a little bit old, isn't it?

Stocks were generally up today, though the NASDAQ was down. So what? Are you richer, poorer, or just think you are?

I've been posting here almost every business day for more than 3 years and stocks have gone up, down and sideways without much to do with underlying fundamentals, or charts, or anything other than buyer and seller sentiment. I've come to some conclusions, most of which point up the futility of trading in stocks. After all, you are buying into something over which you have no control - unless you're on the BOD - and subject to the whims of the market, general sentiment, the perception of analysts and all sorts of other outside influences.

What are stocks, really? Just pieces of paper, as the renowned Jim Cramer might say. It's worse than that, really. They are electonic bits and bytes. The little numbers you see in your investment accounts are electrons, protons, neutrons. You really don't own anything. You just think you do.

From my perspective, there really isn't anything you should want to own other than hard assets - real estate, gold, silver, art, rarities, currency, automobiles, articles of known value and clothing. Everything else, unless it is being put to use as a business, is pretty much without much value.

Most people these days don't know a thing about money and how to use it properly. Many people actually believe in a system that works, with a government that cares about our well-being and proper values for everything. If the events of the past 24 months or thereabout have taught anybody anything, it should have been a lesson how the federal government and Wall Street are in cahoots to preserve each other's wealth and best interests, not those of the ordinary citizen, and, as such, neither should be trusted, and further, the stocks they are selling are not to be trusted as reliable investments, either.

The current economies of the nations - great and small - are such that they could be whisked away in an instant and entire peoples thrust into despair. Currencies fluctuate; stocks and bonds go up and down. Is this as it should be? I think not. There should be more stability in our economy, though despite the efforts of the investment world, the mainstream media and the federal government to have us believe that our system is sound, and stable, it is far from it.

I may go on posting every day, maybe even more often than just once a day, but I am not going to talk about stocks to any great extent in the future. Instead, I'll be focusing this blog on more practical applications of what to do with your money other than to buy and sell electronic representations of shares of company X, Y or Z. Your (and mine) financial future is at risk. It is up to all of us to devise a better system.

Dow 10,663.99, +45.80 (0.43%)
NASDAQ 2,312.41, -4.76 (0.21%)
S&P 500 1,146.98, +2.00 (0.17%)
NYSE Composite 7,449.05, +23.70 (0.32%)

Gold gained $12.80, to $1,151.70. Silver was up another 23 cents, to $18.70. Gold and silver are actual commodities you can own and keep. Their prices, and the way they've been rising over the past 10 years, is telling you something. Listen carefully and you can here them say, "we are safe. We are real money, not fiat paper."

NYSE Volume 4,741,295,500
NASDAQ Volume 2,088,954,250

Tomorrow, and in days ahead, we'll focus more on actual wealth and how to build it, rather than on the nuanced reproductions of it which Wall Street sells.

One last thought: Stock gains are taxable, and at varying rates. Ask yourself if that's right. When you make money with your money, you pay taxes on the gains. Should not the government give back when you lose?

It's a grand scam and ordinary people need not be involved in it.

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