The combination of fear and reward makes people stock-market addicts, feels Aryan Vaid.india Updated: Dec 25, 2008 13:25 IST
The entire world is talking about recession. Everything that’s going wrong is being attributed to it.
There has been a nasty outbreak of the R-worditis. Newspapers are full of stories about which of the big economies will be the first to dip, as a result of the credit crunch.
I knew very little of finance at one point. And the stock market was a mystery, which I never even tried to understand. All my friends and co-actors would discuss indexes and indices but my mind was filled with figures of another kind. Then I changed.
Next big thing
I picked up my first book on investing in the stock market, written by Warren Buffet (pronounced as Buff-et, not Boof-et). After getting his name right, I started reading the book.
Buffet advises that recession is the best time to invest. So I thought I should do that. But I took the precautionary step of enrolling for a weeklong course in stock market investing.
I was excited. I thought that finally the numbers on the finance pages of newspapers, which I used to always skip, would make sense to me. Maybe, I would become a hot investor yet.
I was with an entire lot of wannabe investors in a classroom, which was actually a share broker’s office. Trading was on in the next room.
I looked around and saw busy faces.. some worried, some speculative. Some even had a murderous look in their eyes. And I was staring at the computer screen as if it made sense to me.
Our teacher arrived. I was beginning to feel lost? He could have been talking in Latin. I tried really hard to make some sense of what he was saying. I gave up in 10 minutes.
I resigned myself to the fact that I would never be able to make sense of the jargon. During the break, I interacted with my class. Some were professional investors and traders. They were surprised to see me there.
One of them was connected to the TV industry and had offered me one of his shows longs ago, which I had politely turned down. He advised me to stay away from the stock market. According to him it was a dangerous place. It was best if I stuck to what I knew best. I smiled and moved on.
The course was over. I realised that no matter how hard I tried, I was at sea in the stock market. There is also the constant fear of losing it all. Perhaps this combination of fear and reward makes people addicts. I know I’m not meant to become the next Mr Buff-et.
So perhaps the next inspiring book that I pick up will have something to do with winning at the casino or a big lottery.