The dating bourse


February 17, 2011 – The dating game continues to intrigue me. It seems steeped in some indecipherable mysticism peppered with a plethora of Grey areas and yet it has its own convoluted set of rules. 

As a financial consultant I have a rather black-or-white view on most things. I was thinking to myself the other day, “what if the dating scene was analysed the same way we do with equities?” As it stands now the intrinsic value of women on this hypothetical social exchange would be plummeting.

Ladies, do not shoot the messenger just yet. This is a parody, not an exercise in objectification. However feel free to express your outrage by marching topless through the city!

There is a glut in supply. Forget the census results. Remember the droves of women who overwhelmed a security barrier? Ostensibly to listen to a Nigerian prophet give tips on how to snag a good husband? That was an all time low for Kenyan women.

The Nairobi women all share index dropped points on that day so much so that the board of the Kenyan Dating Authority which monitors the value of dating equities halted trading to prevent a crash. Male investor confidence in female stock presumably hit rock bottom.

Wags throughout the land had their say, so I will desist from flogging a dead horse. However this day’s infamy will live long in the minds of our male population. Lets just say that a lot of Kenyan men did not participate in that rights issue and leave it at that. On this day the Kenyan woman manifest herself as an “Air pocket Stock”. Google it.

Ladies, I sincerely hope that you are still reading. If for no other reason to assuage your fear that this is not just brazen women bashing, thinly veiled in metaphor.  Just like equities there are always a couple of good ones even when the market is in turmoil.

For instance blue chips are almost always a good investment. These are the backbone of this strong nation. The men and women who can always be relied upon at all times to provide value. Hardworking men and women of unquestionable integrity and utmost good faith in their actions. They know what they want and they get results by finding it through thorough vetting. 

You will not hear a blue chip woman lamenting about the quality of men or that resounding refrain of how hard it is to get a good man! Unlike conventional blue chip stocks they do not necessarily have a solid or an expansive financial base. Not so for blue chip men who are required to have deep pockets if nothing else!  Hey! No one said it was an even playing field!

Then you have your small and mid caps. These are the women with the potential to blossom into blue chips. They are on the right track but like their kin on the Dow Jones Index they need a sustained influx of capital to reach their full potential.
That and sound management with a healthy dose of patience. The degrees vary but their fundamentals are sound. Excellent PE ratios. Clean and vibrant balance sheets. Sort of like emerging markets which also have the tendency to be easily ruined by bad policy and corruption.

Male versions of these small and mid caps are especially good investments if kept tethered to the right principles and steered to keep within international best practices. They can be egged on by blue chip women into attaining their full potential. Female investors are very keen on this segment of the market as most blue chips are usually highly coveted and very few shares are traded on the dating bourse anyway.  

Men and especially women are a little like the real investors on the real stock exchange and are wont to once in a while suffer from analysis paralysis. They will pore over voluminous pamphlets full of graphs and ratios, tables, economic outlooks etc before they invest in a particular share. Meticulous research is carried out before any form of commitment is made.

It is important to remember that not everyone in the market is an investor. You have your speculators who are not really in it for the long haul. They hang around just long enough to make a quick buck or to cash in on an impending dividend cheque if they deem it worth their while.

Speculators in the dating game are a very strange lot and some are unscrupulous to a fault. Often relying on insider information (usually girlfriends) to achieve the desired results – a quick romp between the sheets – before moving on the next big thing (or scrawny thing depending on their particular proclivities).

Female speculators are world renown for their ruthlessness. They specialise in hostile take-overs of profitable companies; strip them to their bare bones taking them for all they can. They turn a tidy profit in the process before getting the hell out of dodge leaving the new owners holding the bag.

A common strategy employed by all speculators is known in financial circles as “Pump and Dump” – though illegal on most bourses, it is also very lucrative. The aim is to amass a large amount of an unwitting stock hyping up its value usually through proxies and watching as the share price goes through the roof then selling off their much improved position and raking in profits. Sound familiar?

There are also brokers who earn a commission for pointing out the right stocks to investors and facilitate the sale and purchase of securities. In the dating world they are better known as pimps. They are the grease that keep the speculators’ wheels turning fueling their greed to irresistible heights, to clinch a sale.

Sometimes they may even have a couple of these shares in their own portfolio to convince the speculator that these are indeed good stocks. They have no qualms about keeping a slice of the action for themselves. Male investors are susceptible to incurring more than incidental expenses, when in the process of acquiring what they have been led to believe is a good investment.

By and large these are the murky waters that the common man and woman has to wade through before achieving their financial independence from their investments. This is true on my hypothetical dating exchange as well as Wall Street and Main Street.

There are no small investors. Everyone runs the same risks. Since the year has just begun it is a good a time as any to audit your portfolio and perhaps dump some non performing stock?

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