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Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The wisdom of trees, why I’m not rich – and two bits of investment advice

A couple of years ago – I think when I was speaking in Washington - I got to know Dan Roberts, who does cartoons featuring trees.

 Don’t ask me how he came up with that idea – who knows what lurks in the minds of men?

 Anyhow, here’s one of his creations with a useful thought.

 Dan has also created a Guide to Investing, aimed at nincompoops like me who understand nothing about it.

If you’d like to know more, write to me - Drayton@draytonbird.com - saying investing. (I’m not his partner, by the way).

There are two good reasons why I’m not rich. The first is because my grandfather on my mother’s side lost all his money by making the wrong bets just before the crash of 1920. So instead of having a silver spoon in my mouth I had a rusk.

The second is that my last wife had an uncanny ability to spend. She even bought a house without telling me, followed by a swimming pool complex that cost more than the house. She also had an uncanny ability to part me from property when we divorced.

Both these seeming misfortunes have been good for me actually. Although I am naturally lazy I’ve had to work hard all my life; and bizarrely enough in recent years I’ve found myself writing a lot about money. To do so I have had to study finance and investment a little.

This brings me to two interesting thoughts that came up in the latest edition of The Motley Fool, which I follow because their copy is very good. One suggested that U. S. banks have taken such a battering lately that they might actually be a good investment.

 It is a well-established rule that the stocks (and very often the experts) that have just done well tend to do badly in the succeeding year – and vice versa. So have a look and see what you think: http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2012/01/15/why-bank-of-america-could-be-the-dows-biggest-winn.aspx.

The other - in the same edition, suggests that as the Euro is about to fall to bits, this is a good time to cash in by shorting it.

As far as I can make out, my grandpa committed to buy cotton at a high price when he should have committed to sell it at a low one – or something like that.

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