My Boring Trip to an Investment Show

I admit, I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Sure, I got a degree in Business Administration many years ago but that and $1.50 will buy me a medium coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts.

So I thought I’d follow the smart folks in this investing business: check out the local money show. They come to town once or twice a year so they must be good, right?

I paid my entrance fee… first mistake in money management. Had I been on the ball, I should have been able to enter the show for free, just like the other 98% of attendees who bore coupons.

However, I’m in. This should be good. Through the gate, I picked up my bag of goodies. This is the material provided by exhibitors too cheap to buy a booth. That’s ok, I’ll peruse it at home, if it gets that far. A quick glance and I see that I don’t understand most of it anyways. But it might be a good cure for insomnia.

I visited some booths, brokers boasting the merits of their software, mostly. Interesting until I enquired about their commissions while still maintaining a high level of service with a platform that’s easy to use, flexible and provides the features I need. In addition, I need the trades to be sent directly to the floor, can you handle that? We parted as friends.

I love walking by the investment booths that provide the little mints… kept me fed most of the day. Do they really thing a Hershey Kiss will commit me to listen to their spiel? Or that another mouse pad would interest me in investing in their mutual funds that paid 2% last year? Isn’t this so 1980’s?

Various enterprises were represented, the most interesting being the newspaper that gave away a tool kit if I subscribed to their daily. The tools were a bit toyish but my daughter can play with them. Of course, I was now committed to $149 for a year’s worth of newsprint to be disposed every week.

Booth after booth, some of the most irrelevant displays were rightfully ignored by the masses. I soon realized these small players were there only to appease their shareholders, not necessarily to provide any real opportunities for visitors. “No thanks, I’m not interested in your ‘rising star’ penny stock company. I already got burned once… now defunct New Era Gold it was called. All lies, sorry, no thanks.”

Then, the piece de resistance… the speaker on stage. This stuffed shirt blabbered on about global markets, IRA’s and 401(k)’s, investments that return 4%, countries poised for growth, new investment ideas, blah, blah, blah. I turned to the guy next to me “Hey, you know what he’s talking about?” “Not a clue, but he does sound important, doesn’t he?”

Think I’ll just stay with my morning easy trade that earns me 5% a day… so much easier for a simple guy like me. Thanks for the lesson.

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