The Calm before the Storm

I’ve been reading the business page more closely than usual. Not because I’m much of an investor )although the more I read, the more I want to be – for the sheet thrill of it, yikes). No, it’s the general sense that the big bang is just around the corner and that you’re looking out for signs of the brewing storm. I have to laugh at the headlines celebrating a surge on Wallstreet, only to be followed by another slump two days later. I don’t know enough about economics to say whether high volatility is always a bad sign. I think this one is.

Last time, around the turn of the millennium, I had just gotten out of school, had made my first own money and was eager to invest it – pretty much at the height of the internet bubble. Needless to say, it got wiped out like something flying into the Bermuda triangle. I left the petty lefovers where they were and they have only recovered recently. This time, I’m thinking I’m getting out before it’s too late. Sell off, take the money and run, spend it on real estate when the market hits rock bottom. Sounds like here in North Texas, property values are still holding out but I see more For Sale signs cropping up everywhere. I might consider buying some rental property and become a slum lord.

I read an interesting article the other day – about the next bubble, the next object of irrational exuberance – alternative energy, and it made sense. If you compared the news coverage that global warming and alternative energy are getting now to 18 months ago, it’s a surge not unlike the sudden burst in interest the internet was getting 1995ish or so. Before that nobody had ever heard of it or bothered to find out. All the sudden, it was everywhere – along with Windows 95, the big thing during my final years in college. God, no !

Now, alternative energy is becoming the solution for everything. Even oil companies are using it in their advertising, saying it’s the future. Of course, it can’t be. So there you go – irrational ! Time to invest now, I say, before too many people read the same article or my post here.

PS: And who do we have to thank for this sudden interest in the environment ? Al Gore ! Who else !?

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