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When I was but a wee lad, I learned that no carefully selected perfume or anti-aging cream could deliver Mother's Day joy like a breakfast in bed. Sure, the toast was probably burned, and there were shells in her eggs, but the luxury of sleeping in while your kids quietly destroy the house is a rare treat indeed. This year, I've come up with a gift that I hope will replicate some of that restful luxury each and every day.
I've ordered a Tempur-Pedic
But I turned a profit from the stock a few years back, so that pads a portion of the sticker shock. And perhaps my purchase is in part an atonement for singling out Tempur-Pedic last month, when I said it was a prime example of how big-ticket discretionary items provide a glimpse into how strapped the American consumer is. I stand by my assessment, but I can't help wishing the company well, because my Tempur-Pedic pillow works wonders on my neck every night.
As one of those American consumers, though, I must insert a cautionary note. If you're like me, the thought of interest-free installments for four years makes a pretty enticing sales pitch. Don't skim through the fine print, though. In my case, if I'm late twice on my payments, I get assessed a steep finance charge on the entire purchase price, not just the remaining balance. Tough times for lenders mean that consumers need to remain very alert to credit terms.
So get a Tempur-Pedic mattress set for Mom, but as for the shares, well, they're just not Mother's Day gift-worthy. The mattress maker produces a quality product, so I have faith that the company will one day rebound -- when the rest of the economy does. For now, though, I'll let the bed bugs bite investors and just wish my mom sweet dreams on her new mattress.
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Fool contributor Christopher Barker captains yachts and writes about stocks. He can also be found acting Foolishly within the CAPS community under the username Sinchiruna. He owns no shares in the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool has a Mom-friendly disclosure policy.