Definition: Institutional investor - Past year stock market investor who’s now locked up in a nuthouse.
You guys watch that stock market lately? The bubble popped and I was sitting right on top of it when it happened.
You know, in times like these it pays to have a financial advisor - preferably an old gentleman with long experience that can “hold your hand” during the wild plunges of the stock market. You need a fellow that’s seen it all and isn’t shaken as the financial storm whips around you. A steady, refined gentleman of scholarly background who’ll calm your nerves and allow you to sleep at night, knowing you’ll eventually come out ahead.
I picked just such a New York financial advisor, Mr. S. Willey, 30 years ago. I want to share with you some of his sage advice during these turbulent times from a phone call I made yesterday.
Ring, ring, ring.
“Mr. S. Willey, Financial Advisors Inc. How may I help you?”
“This is Ken Begley. I’d like to speak to Mr. Willey.”
“One moment while I connect you.”
“This is Mr. Willey. Can I help you?”
“Hey, Mr. Willey, this is Ken Begley. I hope I’m not disturbing you.”
“Ken, Ken, I always have time for my clients. I’m glad to hear from you. I was just getting some fresh air from the window. Give me a minute to step off of the window ledge.”
“Window ledge?!?! Mr. Willey, you weren’t thinking of jumping were you!?!?!”
“An old Wall Street warhorse like me? Why, I’m insulted. How dare you question my stability because of this little financial rain storm.”
“I’m sorry Mr. Willey. I didn’t mean to doubt you after all these years.”
“No problem Ken. Besides they installed metal bars over all the windows yesterday.”
“Well that’s good. I think. Anyway, I’m getting a little nervous about all that money I’ve been sending you for the past 30 years. How’re things looking? Is my retirement on course? Will I be able to pay for my five kids’ college educations?”
“Well, let me look up your portfolio on the computer. Your biggest stock holdings are in America Can, Nationwide Gas, Acme Water, and Angel Tissue Paper. You probably ought to sit tight on your can and let that gas and water go. Your tissue stock has hit a new all time low and wiped the bottoms of millions of stockholders clean.”
“Oh my gosh Mr. Willey. That sounds awful. How am I going to pay for my kids to go to college? I want them to have as many diplomas as you have on the wall behind your desk.”
“Ken, it’s not that expensive for your kids to get a college diploma.”
“What are you talking about you crazy old man? It costs thousands to get those degrees.”
“Not the way I did it. I just sent in a check to a certain post office box for $30 and they sent me back two BA’s, an MBA, and one PHD.”
“You mean you bought your degrees?!?!”
“What an awful thing to say. No, they were awarded based on my life skills earned from real work from the real world.”
“What was the real work?”
“Running a Weiner Wagon up here on Times Square.”
“But my oldest daughter plans on being a lawyer.”
“That’s different, Ken. Lawyer degrees are $35. Let me find you that address. It’s here somewhere. By the way, Ken, I think after 30 years you should call me by my first name.”
“What’s that Mr. Willey?”
“Slick. It’s a family name that’s been handed down since my ancestors sold the Pilgrims Plymouth Rock.”
“I think I’ll stick with Mr. Willey. Where’ve you been investing your money?”
“I have a very unique investment plan, Ken. I don’t recommend it to everyone because it’s so different.”
“What is it?”
“Gold bricks and shotguns. Things might get pretty nasty when the dollar falls all apart.”
“I think I’m going to withdraw all my money from the stock market.”
“You could do that, Ken, but you’d only have enough to go to McDonalds a couple of times and buy yourself a box of cigars.”
“That’s pretty depressing Mr. Willey. After 30 years of saving, how will I ever retire?”
“Retire? You don’t want to retire. It’s highly overrated. Take me, for instance. I’m 75 years old and I still walk to work every day from my cot at the shelter. In fact, I walk everywhere since they repossessed my car. But look what great shape I’m in. Take it from me. If you retire, you’ll fall over sideways shortly there after.”
“Well thanks Mr. Willey, or Slick. I hope all this stock market turmoil doesn’t make you want to give up.”
“Don’t you worry about me getting discouraged Ken. I’ll tell you what. If you came in here today with a $1,000,000 I’d invest that for you until it was gone like all the rest of your money.”
“That’s very reassuring Mr. Willey. I think.”