The Stock Market

It’s common for people to think that you have to know something to make money in the stock market. If you don’t it feels as if you’re just throwing your money into a dark hole and hoping for the best. The stock market can be like believing in Jesus — one way to look at the overall stock market is that it will one day get you to heaven. You just have to believe.

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S&P 500 Index(500 of America’s largest publicly traded companies)

During the Great Depression, 1970s, tech bust and the Great Recession you may have questioned your faith but the market has always pulled through. The trajectory still appears to be heavenly.

Past performance is not a guarantee of future returns but what is certain is that if you were invested in the S&P 500 index anytime before 2018 you would be up on your investment. You can pick individual stocks for greater returns but then you might have to know something.

What will happen in the future is anyone’s guess but I think the most rational answer is that this chart in the long term will continue going up. If you don’t believe it will then you’re betting that America is soon going to shits and will never recover. From my experience the ones who believe the world is going to apocalypse mode are the ones who don’t like how their life has turned out. I know because I used to be one of them.

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It’s not all fun and games in the stock market. There can be periods of frustration such as the years between 2000 and 2013. If you had invested in the height of the year 2000 then you would have ridden a roller coaster just to be even in the year 2013. That sucks. If you had contributed to your investment all the way through though you would have made out just fine. Buying on dips is quite imperative.

This is not investment advice. I’m just presenting the facts. As far as history goes all that you had to know to make money in the stock market was to contribute regularly to an American index fund, have a long-term mindset and not panic sell.

 

 

 

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The Looming End of Something

In my 20s I was excited to have an arsenal of movies or shows to watch for the whole day. It was stimulating but it was also an effective way of practicing what we loved to do which was kill time. Arguably the most precious aspect of life and we were proud to slay it like an evil beast. The endless amount of media available today has withered my excitement to hang out in front of the TV but I also believe there’s something else to it.

Twenty years seems like a long time but not when I think of it as the time that has passed since I graduated high school. If you take those years and add them to where I am now I will basically be an old man. With age comes the higher possibility of regret, disease and an almost definite outcome of being uglier. Time will have its way with you like a large black man in prison. You’re powerless and have no choice but to take whatever it gives.

Many men have fallen to the screen as a way to live out their life. Some have convinced themselves that there is nothing else to life. Maybe there’s truth to that or maybe it’s an effortless lie used to block out anxieties.

In his act, a stand-up comedian says hope is the culprit of the sadness to life. Youth often breathes a continuance of hope into dreams that never manifests into reality. While your aspirations remain elusive the comforting thought of I still have lots of time nears its end of life. He goes on to say that once you’re convinced the money, life and love you hoped for will never come to fruition a huge weight is lifted off of you. Now you can spend your time trying to enjoy yourself.

 

 

All Things Cannabis

You may or may not have heard that Canada will be the first G7 country to federally legalize marijuana for recreational purposes on Oct 17th, 2018. It may sound sad to some people but to me this is the most significant Canadian political event in my lifetime so far. I’m so in tune with what’s going on that I didn’t even know about it until after the prime minister who promised to make it happen was elected. What? They’re going to legalize marijuana? If I knew I might have voted.

You would have to be a shitty gambler to bet that the rest of the world is not going to follow to some degree. About a dozen other countries have federally legalized marijuana for medical use. With more than half the states in America having state legal medical and/or recreational cannabis it’s hard to believe they won’t be fully legalized one day. Who knows though. America has funny drug laws.

When the founder of Canada’s largest marijuana business first pitched his idea before recreation legalization was even thought of, the first 4 people said,  ‘Are you crazy?’

I thought, that’s terrific. That means there will be even fewer credible people that want to start them because the ones I spoke to think it’s horrible, not because of the business, but because of the reputational risk. I thought, ‘If you sit around and do nothing, isn’t that also reputationally bad?’

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He also said when people called his idea crazy he then knew he was on to something. It’s another story of ‘crazy’ about to be normal. If hardly anyone is criticizing your ideas and actions then you’re probably not doing anything worthwhile. This only applies though if you’re a sane and rational person.

The provincial cannabis warehouse will be operating fairly close to my home and they’re hiring. It’s a government job so it has all of the offerings an average schmuck could ask for. I thought about applying for a job there but that would just be going back to the same vicious cycle I used to be in. No one would tell me I’m crazy for wanting to work there so it must be a bad idea.

 

 

Craigslist Stalking

When I receive a reply for an item I have listed on Craigslist I’ll sometimes Google the person’s name if it’s available. A few weeks ago some guy was interested in my vintage stereo receiver. Searching his name brought me to an article about a few people who had their prison sentences shortened. In this article it stated that this guy served time for illegal possession of a firearm, cocaine possession and aggravated assault. Looking over a Facebook page of the account of the same name and close proximity to me, a photo of the probable man in question had tattoos up to his neck and two tear drops under his eye. Just because the name was the same doesn’t mean it’s the same person but let’s just say his name was not John Smith. His first and last names are not unheard of but I doubt most people personally know anyone with either name. In case you’ve never heard, the number of tear drop tattoos under your eye is supposed to signify the number of people you have murdered. I replied to tell him that the item was no longer available and then deleted the listing. Maybe I’m an asshole for doing so but I don’t want to be another reason for him to cry.

Last week I had an ad for a free bag of lightly used dry dog food. You’ll be surprised with the amount of people who replied to this post. The guy left his full name and phone number but I didn’t investigate him until after he picked up the dog food. He drove 20 minutes to my place on a Sunday night after his daughter’s birthday dinner. Maybe that was her birthday present.

“Nothing else to do,” he said.

My investigation found that he’s a high school teacher who teaches computer geek stuff. My conclusion is that he’s a cheap Asian and/or he needed an excuse to get away from the family for an hour. I’m curious if I would get much interest if I listed a “lightly soiled mattress” for sale.