Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fake Money and Passions

The United States treasury has been downgraded from an AAA to an AA credit and this has sent the stock market into a plummet.

Stock holders are a finicky, panic driven bunch. There’s this myth about the stock market, thanks mostly to the 1920s and the 1980s-90s when it was booming, where people think it’s an easy way to get free money. Invest in the right company, and shares explode.

It doesn’t make much sense to me, granted this is coming from someone who hates the business side of things and has no interest with investments.

All of this “money” is digital. Just because a stock is worth $3 more on paper, doesn’t actually put those $3 in your pocket. None of this is real money, it’s basically one large system of IOUs. Sure, you can sell your stocks high, but then that causes the price of the stocks to drop for everyone else. It’s this ripple effect system.

So yes, even though it’s scary to see the market plummet 500 points in a week, this is just going to cause a great buy-up when the stock prices go down. It’s a giant roller coaster ride.

Now I do feel sorry for the FAs I talk to. Even though I think the stock market has too much power and is a ridiculous system that puts too much power in the hands of stock holders, I can understand their stress. It’s something they at least at one time were passionate about.

It would be like if we started blending all food together in convenient shakes. It takes all the passion and romance out of food and cooking. I would hate that life.

I guess today I woke up with an empathy for the FAs I support. Many times I see it as a them vs me situation. Most of the guys I work with see it this way as well. Really, we’re all a bunch of animals habituating a spinning rock for a short amount of time.

Today, while being in this reflective empathetic state, I also realized that there’s no way I’m staying in the tech industry. I have no passion for it, just talent. I’m going to stay in it until my student loans are paid off, but then I’m going to write. I’m going to get a job at a restaurant in Denver, and Sallie and I will be blissfully happy.

With that, I leave you with some inspirational words by the man himself, Ira Glass.

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.