Thank you for this question, and it has come to Zamboni many times in many ways over the past few years. People ask me for tips and advice because everyone want to get rich quick and is waiting for the i.p.o. of Zamboni Inc Llc, etc.
First I should say that Great Zamboni not put money in stock market but only in Estonian Goat Futures. This is complicated system of betting on how much milk goats of different colored spots will yield. I do this until I lose 10,000 Krons last Monday. So now I just keep cash in suitcase. Not being American I do not hunger for riches in the Stock Market but I can explain this to you because on recent flight to Istanbul I read book by Suzanne Mcgee, “Chasing Goldman Sachs.”
You see, the Stock market is like a public utility, like a power company. When you get home, you flip on switch and light come on. You turn faucet and water come. You no think about it. Stock Market is like this too. You want your city to build a bridge or hospital, it use stock market. You want to retire or borrow money to buy house, you use stock market grid of vast money- you don’t think about this sea of money, it just always seems to be there.
So a person puts money into this sea, the money goes to work building bridges or supporting new companies, and then when the money grows a little bit with those companies, the person takes back their money plus a little bit to reward their risk.
But for a while now, the big banks start to say “hey, forget about this little guy who wants to grow some money, lets start making some indecipherable’financial products’ made up of piles and piles of bad loans to people and sell this bad juju to other companies and make piles of money when no hospital is being built or company actually growing except our own company which is only growing fat because we are selling these piles of bad juju”. See, simple!
It didn’t help that in the 1970’s, the minimum fee to buy a stock, like 40 cents a share, is got rid of. Now people can buy stock for a penny on internet. Stockbroker must now be creative to make paycheck. Greed+Creativity=EVIL.
Here’s how crazy it get: The investment bankers give a little thank you fee to the people lending homeowners money to buy houses who probably won’t be able to pay these loans back- they need lots of these loans to bundle up!- they even can make money betting on all of us people not paying our loans. This like betting money on you getting hit by brick, then yelling “hooray” when you get hit by brick, and “ka-ching” sound of money. Maybe they throw brick too.
So this Stock Market, which once served people on Main St, now is serving people working in investment banks, on Wall St. But when house of cards come crashing down, we had to bail them out (Ha!) because, yes we’ll always need hospitals, houses and to retire, and they know this.
If you are still confused, perhaps buy the book, or just reflect of this old Estonian jargon, “if your town only has one butcher, and he grabs you by the testicles, either smile or become a vegetarian.”
Clear, no? Then get yourself a financial advisor, they still do the serving Main Street thing. It makes the world go round.