Where did you dig up that old fossil?
There's a guy I know who seems nice enough at first, but the more I watch him, the more I wonder about him. For example, one time he was trying to charter a flight for a long and expensive trip. The representative from the travel company quoted him an extremely high price, so he decided to try to haggle. The counteroffer was as follows: he'd pay 20% of the asking price upfront (basically the amount he got for pawning some poor orphan's used car) then, after he reached his destination, he would pay 1.5 times the total quoted asking price. The charter pilot must have thought this guy was the worst negotiator of all time, but he didn't dare question this stoke of luck, that extra money could really save his neck.
This guy I know is pretty old (and probably senile) and the elderly are common targets for fraud, so I wouldn't have even given the situation a second though except for something this old guy mentioned during the flight. He said, "In my experience, there's no such thing as 'luck'." It wasn't the fact that he hadn't held a job in over 20 years that struck me when he made this comment, it was the concept that luck simply didn't exist. Perhaps he meant everything happens for a reason or maybe all events that occur throughout the universe, even though they may seem random from one perspective, were caused by tangible (if not always rational) forces. Anyway, when they arrived at his destination, the place he was going wasn't there anymore – so he didn't have to pay the second portion of his agreement to the pilot.
My questions is, did this old guy KNOW something was up to be able to take advantage of this 80% discount? Perhaps there were other things he could see; other places, the future, the past, old friends long gone. Maybe that's why he struck a deal that initially seemed to be a disadvantage to him, but financially it worked out to be a sweet bargain.
[A coincidental side note: the pilot met his future wife on that trip and the poor old guy?... he kicked the bucket soon after the flight only to end up a ghost who haunts his friends probably to this day.]
My stock pick for this week is Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) at roughly $385 / share.
Soon after Steve Jobs announced that he would be stepping down as CEO of Apple, I read someone describe it: "as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced." When the market opened the next day, I half expected to find Apple's stock price totally blown away. Obviously the world didn't end, shares of Apple didn't plunge and allegedly Apple has more cash than the US government. But unlike the US government, Apple has no debt. Lately, when the US's most valuable corporation isn't Exxon (NYSE: XOM), it's Apple. This is the perfect type of company to hold on to while in the midst of a wild market. Steve hasn't left the company, he has only stepped down as the big chief (maybe he was unhappy with his salary). I cannot foresee Apple's destiny, but I can tell you that Steve Jobs is a visionary and everything he puts the letter "i" in front of, turns to gold.
I'll leave you with some advice i got from the old dude of my story above. He said that if you ever get caught in a lie, all you have to do is say, "When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view." He claims it has worked for him every time.
I should disclose: in my house right now there are two iPods, two iPhones, an iPad, three iMacs, an iBook, a Macbook Pro, an Apple TV and an Airport Express (and those are just the Apple products that we have yet to sell or throw/give away). You might suspect my wife and I are squatting at the storage room of an Apple Store, but we have managed to buy a house despite spending a large portion of our income on iCrap. Needless to say, Apple is probably our favorite company. If only I had bought a couple of shares of Apple stock every time I purchased some iThing, beginning with my first bondi blue iMac back in 1998. I currently own zero shares of Apple, but I plan to buy some very soon.