Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Pig ignorant

I never cease to amaze myself with the depth of my ignorance.  Just the other day two wildly different examples cropped up.  The first involved a small holding the Old Bat has in a unit trust.  Said trust wants to change its rules so that it can invest in derivatives amongst othet things.  Personally, I just want to run a mile from any such investment, but that might be simply because I have no idea what derivatives are.  I always associate them with the riskier side of investment on the stock market but I am more than willing to be corrected if I am wrong.

That said, it does seem to me that almost any investment on the stock market is on a par with an investment in a one-arm bandit.  My experience is not quite the same as that of Mr Buffett.  The most sophisticated type of deal I have ever made on the stock market - or, for that matter, understood - is stagging.  I did make quite a bit of money doing that.  I'm not sure if it is still done, but back in the days when I worked for a bank there were two of us at one branch who got into this in quite a big way.  It involved applying to buy shares that were being issued by a company which was going to be traded on the stock exchange.  One applied for the shares in the hope that a number would be issued and they could be sold as soon as the company was quoted on the stock exchange and the share price was higher than the issue price.  I say I got into this in a big way but I am really talking about investments of £100 or so and profits of perhaps £20 a time.

When my grandmother died she left me a sum of cash - I think it was about £1,500 or so.  I decided to split this (then) largish sum in half.  One half would be invested in speculative shares, the other half in a safe, blue chip company.  As luck would have it, the gambles paid off, but the safe blue chip?  I chose Rolls Royce, which promptly went belly up and lost me £750!  Since then I have been a rare and reluctant investor.

But to get back to the subject: my ignorance.  The second example was my sighting of a small, brown flying object, butterfly or moth.  I knew not which it was.  Which led me to muse that I don't know the difference between a moth and a butterfly.  I had always thought that moths fly at night, butterflies during the day, but now I know that to be incorrect.  I suppose that is one step forward - but I really must look it up.

4 comments:

Suldog said...

I'm pretty sure one difference is that moths have sort of "furry" antennae. Of course, you could wait to see if it starts eating any of your woolen goods.

Stephen Hayes said...

Moths around here fly just fine during the day, and I'm not really sure what the differences are. I think I'll go Google it.

Uncle Skip, said...

I came here looking to find out the difference between moths and butterflies, but since none of you seem to know for sure...

Buck said...

Butterflies are pretty. Moths are ugly. That's the difference. ;-)

Your market experiences are similar to mine, Brian. I was very heavy in tech (bein' an IT-guy) when the dot-bomb implosion hit... I lost about half of my IRA as a result.