Alex McCord: The seduction of stocks

What's your stock strategy?

I don’t own any tech stocks anymore, ever since an unfortunate incident on my honeymoon where I forgot about a Lycos option and it expired. 

Once I quit day trading, blue chips and utilities became my parking spots. 

Sometimes I wonder, particularly when reading about Google’s bid for Motorola, whether I’m missing out. And start fantasizing about what it would have been like to be in on the IPO for Google.  Yes, the Motorola announcement actually sent Google’s price down a few percentage points, but the fact that they are in a position to even consider such a bid illustrates their tremendous growth over the last decade. 

As I imagine stock splits, dividends and a much larger nest egg, I suddenly remember; there was no way to get close to that stock offering unless you were a member of the in crowd.  So again, like tax loopholes and lending rates, it boils down to fairness. Is it really fair to call it a public offering if the public can’t touch it?
 
IPOs sometimes collect huge first day gains; sometimes not.  It’s a horse race.  But even before that, there are pre-IPO investment opportunities that are open to financial firms and the uber-wealthy only. 

By the time we the public can get our hands on the stock, it has flown away like the perfect apartment at the perfect price advertised on a realtor’s website. 

So maybe, it’s back to square one and all the things our parents taught us.  Pick safe stocks and ride, ride, ride the market through good and bad, passing them on to your children as if that investment money never existed for you.  Leave the IPOs for the venture capital cowboys.  


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