I sprang up in the middle of the night and yelled to my husband, "Don't touch my portfolio pillow!"
Portfolio pillow? What on Earth was I dreaming about?
Granted, I spend many of my waking hours thinking about the market; it's part of my job.
Still, I was frightened when I realized that my cherished hours of restful sleep were being invaded by the very thing that I don't want to obsess over. And this in the land of Fooldom, where we hope to invest in a manner that brings us riches in the long term, and restful sleep in the interim.
Instead of rest for the weary, my nights in slumberland were more like an adventure in a Salvador Dali painting. I had been reading too many Rule Breaker Portfolios before bedtime, that's it. How else do you explain another dream with a few dozen human chromosomes genomes hanging out in Starbucks drinking lattes while ordering books from Amazon?
I was sitting with my husband eating a chocolate croissant when one of these little haploid chromosomes with a cigarette dangling out of his microscopic mouth asked me what I thought about shorting eBay. I answered back, "Well, Shorty, how'd you like to be auctioned off?" My husband shot me one of those "Don't be rude to microscopic life forms" looks. Just then Ted Turner, about six feet of mostly mouth, tomahawk chopped a stack of Foolish Four stocks and drawled, "Waiter can I have a knife for my cable modem?"
My portfolio pillow needed changing. I jumped in my shiny yellow Yahoo! convertible, put the top down and revved up its search engine to find the perfect set. Portfolio Bedding: soft cotton brushed twill in coordinating colors. Duvet covers and shams in juniper/khaki or khaki/pumice. You've heard of down? My coordinates would now have to include "Up" and "Unchanged" as well.
Later, I'm munching Swiss cheese with analysts from Credit Suisse First Boston and the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich. Henry Blodgett atop the Merrill Lynch bull stampedes by. "AOL is 'undervalued' by ANY measure," roars the bull. "Buy!" yells Blodgett. Up, up, up goes the stock. Fifteen percent yesterday. All the way to the top. King Kong is shaking Steve Case in his paw atop the Empire State Building's 365,000 tons. (That's the building, not the ape.) Who's bigger -- the entity to be known as AOL/Time Warner or the ape? You make the call.
Then I'm in a Weight Watcher's meeting, as they place America Online and Time Warner on the scale trying to measure the potential value of the combined companies. Reuters reports that "the measures used by analysts to value Internet companies are very different from those traditionally used to value media stocks." (Now I'm getting breaking news in dreamland.) The two companies break the scales.
I grab my pom poms and follow the parade, alongside the float for AOL's new wireless technologies division. Former U.S. Federal Communications Chairman Dennis Patrick is leading, twirling his baton in secret patterns. Bob Pittman and Steve Case atop the float are crooning a touching rendition of "My Way" as they aim to make AOL the leader in wireless interactive services.
Don't touch my portfolio pillow!
Today I awaken to change and the announcement that we're selling our Foolish Four holdings of Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), Goodyear (NYSE: GT), Chevron (NYSE: CHV), and DuPont (NYSE: DD). Good-bye, Foolish Four. It's not that we don't love you. We do. But we want a purified pool of Rule Breakers at this address. You remain alive and well and living in a home of your own as a thoroughly Foolish investing technique.
Be wary of the dangers of obsessing over the stock market. Ideally, design a long-term diversified portfolio of stocks that you feel comfortable owning over the long haul. A portfolio that helps you sleep at night. Always remember to do your own research. Another person's goals and risk tolerance probably won't work for you. If you need extra guidance, please read our "13 Steps to Investing Foolishly."
One last news item -- and I swear I'm not making this up. Bloomberg reported that eBay has banned a man from selling his soul because there was no proof the item for sale actually existed.
Am I dreaming or awake?
I'm awake. Or if I wasn't, Celera (NYSE: CRA) just woke me up. The newest Rule Breaker addition powered ahead a giant 35% today, up about $60 without news. The company will likely report that it has finished its initial shotgunning (see the buy report) of the human genome before this spring ebbs into summer. Maybe dream about that tonight.