I used to love the roller coaster
I saw an ad for one of those Magic-Flags-over-Disney-Six-Knotts-Mountain-Land amusement parks the other day and I thought, "When was the last time I was on a roller coaster?" And then I remembered, I'm in the stock market. I'm on a roller coaster everyday of the week. I never put my arms in the air and scream "Wheeeee" but after careening into the dips of Wall Street I definitely feel a churning sensation in my gut.
And after a day of stock market thrill riding I watch the evening news and their expert analysts proclaim the little guy didn't panic. Small investors stayed put while the big guys got nervous and sold out. What I really think is more true is... I don't know how to sell stocks. I don't know how to get out. I once figured out how to get in but since then I lost the phone numbers or misplaced the paper work... I couldn't sell my stocks in a hurry, even if I wanted to. So, I guess I could panic but what's the point? If I wanted to panic I would just have to get into our filing cabinet, find the paperwork and read through it and find the 800 number for Janus and then they would ask me a bunch of questions and my wife is at work so I don't know what we want to do with the capital gains and that is the real reason why this little guy doesn't panic and get out of the market.
Financially, I am a lot like a psychology major. I only know enough to screw things up. In fact, never ask a psych major for help with a personal problem. They will tell you to be honest with your wife, to tell her you need your feelings validated but when you come home and say that she hits you in the head with her briefcase because she too needs her feelings validated but unlike you doesn't have a close friend with a major in psychology.
I have to believe, to one degree or another, most little guys in the stocks market are like me- we'd like to panic... we just don't know how. But, if that's true, don't pass it around. It will only make the big guys panic all the more. And my stomach doesn't need anymore of that. Besides, it's better for the stock market when us little guys just don't know how to throw up and get off the Wall Street thrill ride.