Friday, August 18, 2006

Funny Money

After a few years as an analyst, I realized that keeping a sense of humor is a key to success in the investment banking and research business. I keep one of my favorite Dave Carpenter cartoons from the Wall Street Journal pinned to the bulletin board beside my desk. Although yellowed with age, it still brings on a smile.

It shows a man in white shirt and tie seated at a desk with a computer monitor. He is talking on the phone: “Basically it’s a stock that if a chain of near-miraculous events would happen to occur you’d make a bundle.”

Carpenter penned that cartoon in early 1997, well before things really got silly in the stock market. Around the same time (and I have this clipping on the bulletin board also) the Dilbert cartoon strip featured Dogbert, the C.E.O in the boardroom with two associates:

Dogbert: “I’ve decided to manipulate our stock price for personal gain. I’ll spin off a few divisions, buy back some of our stock and announce massive budget cuts.”
Associate #1: “Um…do you even know what products we make?”
Dogbert: “How would that be relevant?”

More recent cartoons and jokes can be found at has a great selection of business one-liners and lampoons of accountants and economists. Stockbrokers among other professions are the targets of one-liners at Individual investors trying to make sense of his or her assets can stop at Financial Freedom Made Simple to get a good serving of spoofs on investors.

I will get back to the serious matters of investment next week. Until then, keep on smiling!

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