Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Financial Foibles of the Fantastic Four

Given the current recession and the state of most RRSPs these days, I can't help but take comfort from Mr. Fantastic's umbrage. Even a genius like Reed Richards can take a hit from the market, just like the rest of us.

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, creators of the Fantastic Four, revolutionized comic superheroes by bringing their typically larger-than-life antics down to earth from time to time. On one page, the FF or Spider-Man might be fighting a galactic threat; on the next, worrying about their dysfunctional lives. I wonder how much Reed might have fetched for the Pogo Plane, the Fantasticar or the Ultimate Nullifier if he'd had access to ebay...

5 comments:

Benchmark said...

Reed Richards' eyes... he's so mad at The Thing, his rage-filled brain is preparing to BURST OUT OF HIS EYES AND LAUNCH HIS EYEBROW LIKE A BATARANG! LOOK OUT, THING!

Anonymous said...

Lunkhead. Hee, hee i haven't heard that in years.

"Jeffamorphosis" said...

I read that Stan Lee ran into financial difficulty with a shady business partner. Probably had no trouble coming up with this storyline.

I also read that the current recessive market makes stock investment almost useless for the aggressive investor. Computerized market algorythms along with a high level of media hype and peevish investors have combined for a temporary yet prolonged situation where most stocks are rising and falling in lockstep with one another. Ordinarily, there are always a number of stocks that will buck the major trend, and that's how a lot of brokers seek to make money. These days, those trendsetter stocks are very hard to find. If you make money, you'll just barely beat the DOW or TSX. At that rate you might as well be flush with bonds or T-bills.

The smartest investment, according to the gurus, is not in identifying well-performing stocks, but rather well-performing "superbrokers". You can hire a broker agent whose job it is to rank the superbrokers on their performance. You invest with the agent, who in turn invests with the top brokers with whom he has a pre-existing relationship. This way, you can get your money to the top man or woman in New York or Hong Kong without leaving suburbia.

Based on Earl's recent post, however, I would advise against a broker who so obviously gets as emotional about the market as Dr. Richards, and especially avoid a wall-eyed superbroker who wears a spandex outfit to work every day.

"Jeffamorphosis" (a) said...

Oh, and as an answer to your question:

Efficient Market theory suggests that practically every investor will, over time, be unable to beat the market, as long as the market follows conditions where all information is made public.

So however much Reed Richards could make selling his flying car, if he invested his resources into financing shares such as an IPO, he could expect to lose all but maybe 3%-5% over time.

Maybe Richard's stock would seem fantastic for a stretch, but as the storm ebbs, public sentiment would flame out when dividends faded from sight. In short, a grimm outlook.

Best to stick to the superheroing (or real estate).

Sean said...

"Maybe Richard's stock would seem fantastic for a stretch."

Win.