Feb 05

Boring Old Bourses

In the 90’s I wrote an article that appeared in the Weekend Argus each week called Money Talks. It was not meant to be hi brow just a snippet of news from overseas, a nibble of info on the FTSE and tit bits from the Dow. The point is that I once used the term BOURSE when describing an overseas exchange and I remember even then feeling a bit of a pompous prat, especially as the only bourse is really the CAC and lets face it, CAC just about sums up the word BOURSE, it’s so twee and knowing!

I mention this only as one of SA’s strangest TV channel’s, Summit, seems to have become addicted to the word. Once a day Sky News go to Summit TV, for an update on the African Markets. Suddenly an Asian girl with an American accent was speaking from Johannesburg, very cosmopolitan I thought, if not exactly politically correct. She then went on to enter the Guinness Book of Records by using the word BOURSE six times in approximately 45 seconds! I thought I was going to gag on it!

Anyway less about the CAC and more about good things in life or not as the case may be. Although, at the time of writing, the future of British building societies and mortgage lenders seems to be not so rosy, the rest of the worlds financial markets appear to have weathered the storm.  This mild panic, caused by greedy men lending too much money to people who can’t actually afford it, these men then packaged the debt as an acceptable securitized product to sell on to other fools.

So what is next on the agenda that is likely to cause wobbles, especially for us folk at the foot of Africa? Well I suppose it will be anything that wobbles the rest of the world really. The markets are weird creatures, in times of the BULL all information that is positive is seized upon and we rise, all bad information is simply discounted away. But then one day the BEAR appears over the hill and everything changes, no amount of good news will lift spirits and the markets seize on and magnify anything negative, no matter how small. The whole financial world demonstrates that it suffers from the biggest bipolar disorder on the planet and switches from manic to depressive.

Are we overdue a Bear phase, have we run in front of this Pamplona Bull for too long? We will just have to wait and see.

I must tell you this one guys, especially as our average age (FPI members) is apparently 53! As the markets danced dizzily from day to day during August I had to subdue a giggle one day as I read one of our esteemed business papers, or is it our only business paper? They quoted a stockbroker thus, I have been in this market for five years and never seen anything like this! Oh really five years? How strange, you were probably doing matric when we had the IT collapse in only 2000, even that was in the 21st century! If the estate agents mantra is still Location, Location, Location then ours has to be, Experience, Experience, Experience.

Never forget your client relies on your experience above anything else you can give them and also remember the following,
Believe nothing, no matter where you read it (except here!) or who said it , no matter if I have said it, that is unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

No not one of mine I’m afraid, but a bloke called Buddha!

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