We are a Fickle Species

It’s sometimes very hard to understand human nature.

Without a doubt, there were still so many untapped Osama bin Laden jokes sitting out there, just waiting to be told, Tweeted and re-tweeted.

But then came the jury verdict. Even before the results became known, the Raj Rajaratnam jokes started to flow and only my own two similarly themed Bin Laden jokes could be found anywhere.

RajaratnamThey both had to do with Bin Laden’s body floating ashore someplace. I thought they were pretty funny, but no real traction because despite an admirable week’s length of attention, we’d moved onto the next and newest thing.

So at least for today, it’s going to be Rajaratnam, the butt, and apparantly I mean that both figuratively and literally of many weight related jokes.

And no, the above photo is in proper proportion.

Look, I wasn’t immune from posting a few of my own, despite my allegiance to the Bin Laden line of banter. We all want our share of the attention that is so fleeting.

And I thought of that a little while, just how fickle we really are.

Does that explain why “Buy and Hold” is a dead strategy amongst most everyone? It seems that at least when it comes to the stock market, the word “investor” may not really have much meaning.

In fact, if funds transfers would be executed and closed in the amount of time that it really should take, instead of the standard 3 business days, “Buy and Hold” would likely be re-defined in terms of minutes or hours.

I think back to the days when I used a broker and we would hold on to stocks through cycle after price cycle. Profits vanished, re-appeared, vanished again.

Since we didn’t take losses often, at the end of the day, it still felt a if the ventures were successful, but they weren’t. Really. They weren’t. All of those opportunities were squandered.

So now that I’m on my own, I’ve become very fickle, trading as often as necessary, but I’ve kept a little piece of my dignity.

I’d decided a while ago to keep the company of a finite list of stocks.

I call them my “Old Reliables”. Like a sailor’s girl in every port, although I prefer to think of them as “Sister Stocks” and I believe that God has ordained me to make them fruitful and multiply.

Each one of my favorites has a place and time. Occasionally, like Bin Laden, apparantly, I’ll bring in a new “Old Reliable” and cast another out. After all, there’s only so much male virility herbal concoction that I can ingest.

But the door is rarely irrevocably closed.

AIG is one of those Sister Stocks, an “Old Reliable”, even though it had been in the pennysphere and but for a 1:20 split, would still be at a price far below anything that I would purchase, other than to sell put contracts.

I first owned AIG back when it was American General. I didn’t own shares for a decade or so. It was noble at one time to own American General.

But now, I delight in AIG. It goes up, it goes down. I sell call contracts, I buy call contracts. I lose my shares, I get new shares.

Do I love AIG? Yes. I do. But I especially love these weekly options.

I was happy to see its decision to proceed with a much smaller “re-IPO”, as it’s been coined. I posted on Twitter yesterday that Ben Mosche was worked too hard and has too much of an ego to let AIG go so cheaply. I also believe that Geithner thinks AIG is a buy and not quite the sell that everyone was banking on.

Am I sad to see it go, if it does? No, I know it will be back.

Does that make me fickle?

Why am I asking so many questions today?

Simply because so many of our fundamental bases have been questioned in my lifetime, although each generational span probably goes through the same process.

It’s just that the process keeps speeding up, somewhat like Moore’s Law, to the point that the one time good as gold standard is like yesterday’s day old fish.

As I look at Laszlo, my dachshund, I am envious. His world and his species, are constant in their thinking and relationships.

Best of all, he’s very flexible.

But I suppose if we led the same kind of life and had the same flexibility, there might never be another generation to take us to the next unrecognizable level.

For at least today, I’ll look forward to more Rajaratnam jokes, hope AIG stays just slightly below $32 and doesn’t mind being put on the options block again next week.