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Halloween 2001

The Motley Mash
By Robert "Bloody Mess" Brokamp (TMF Bro)

["Monster Mash" was a hit sung by Bobby "Boris" Pickett in 1962, and it reached the "top 100" three different times. Pickett still sings and is available through the Web. Our thanks to him for this timeless Halloween classic, fodder for our Foolish fun.]

I was trading online one Halloween night
In the drab, lifeless glow of my monitor's light
When a pop-up ad did quickly reveal
Treasury Secretary Pall O'Squeal

(He did the mash) He did the Motley mash
(Recession to smash) It was a graveyard shift smash
(He did the mash) He used QuickTime and Flash
(Preventing a crash) He did the Motley mash

"Too much speculation and day-trading at hand,"
Said the ghoul who hails from Alcoa land.
"I'll summon an assorted and ghastly cast
To resurrect the value of portfolios past."

(And they will mash) They will Motley mash
(Finding stocks for their stash) It was a stock graveyard smash
(They will mash) Salve for the bear-market rash
(Such a Motley cast) Doing the Motley mash

From my computer screen they leapt into my room
Gruesome investors to save the market from doom
The Lynch Mob and Beardstown Ghouls formed a band
Led by the Bogle-man, who had five indexes on each hand

The investors were having fun -- the rally had just begun
With Dow Bones, Festering Soros, and Templeskeleton

Then the rally faltered, it started to crash
Seems the market needed a transfusion of cash
So a slasher appeared with the perfectly mean plan
And rates were cut by Hal O. Weenspan

(They did the mash) They did the Motley mash
(Finding places for their cash) It was a dot-cometery smash
(They played the mash) It caught on in a flash
(Raising stocks from the ash) They did the Motley mash

Out from his column the Grim Cramer did shout
Seems he was troubled and needed to pout
He got on the airwaves and shook his fist
"Whatever happened to my Hedge-fund Twist?"

(It's now the mash) It's now the Motley mash
(Better than Heavenly Hash) It was a stock exchange smash
(More fun than diaper rash) It caught on in a flash
(Tastier than succotash) It's now the Motley mash

Now everything's cool, we're all a part of the band
And the Motley mash is the hit of the land
For you, the investor, this mash was meant too
When you get to the trading floor, tell them the Fool sent you

(Then you can mash) Then you can Motley mash
(Sell your trash) It is a mosh-pit smash
(Don your bullish sash) No more teeth to gnash
(Invest your cash) Then you can Motley mash


My Financial Closet Monster!
By Mark "Killer" Andringa (TMF Mark)

There's a monster in my closet. It's not particularly big or noisy, but it's as real as the pile of laundry on my floor. I don't see it often -- I've long learned to modify my daily activities to avoid a direct confrontation. Like any self-respecting monster, however, it can create anxiety in me by its mere presence. Many nights I lie awake wondering what mischief it may cause, and commit myself (yet again) to flushing it out and ending its reign over my family.

It wasn't scary at first. In fact, I used to consider it friendly -- even comforting. He was my partner, standing ready to help me face the uncertainty of the future. We were supposed to grow old together in a peaceful, mutually beneficial existence. But with the passing of time, I unwittingly fed its growth until it had become my nemesis. With each major milestone in my life: marriage, the birth of our children, job changes, and home ownership, it has grown more fearsome.

They say the first step in defeating a problem is naming it. I've named my monster "financial complexity." My traditional, suburban middle-class family has three 401(k)s, two 529 college savings plans, two Roth IRAs, two brokerage accounts, one taxable mutual fund, a money market account, two piggy-banks, and a checking account (whew). And that's just on the asset side of our personal balance sheet! 

Not only is it messy and intimidating, but occasionally this complexity has cost me hard-earned dollars. For example, my previous employer used to match my 401(k) contributions with company stock. Although I left the company nearly two years ago, I left my 401(k) behind and my match money stayed in company stock. Ouch. I'd like a do-over.

I recently subscribed to TMF Money Advisor and my first order of business is to get some help bringing order to my financial chaos.  Maybe I don't need help slaying the "financial complexity" monster in my closet, but it'll sure be nice to have someone holding the flashlight so I can get a good swing at it! Once we knock him out, there's an insurance troll in my office I'd really like to push around a bit....


The Graveyard of Business Doom

Oh, those trucks were the cutest on the block!
The drivers kind, and recipients of stock.
But operating profits the company couldn't find --
Poor young Webvan got nickeled and dimed.
     -- Josie "Eye Teeth" Raney (TMF Swing)

Here lies Webvan, whose stock's been retired.
It spoiled past its due date and now it's expired.
     -- Rick "Deathless Puns" Aristotle Munarriz (TMF Edible)

How much is that doggy on the Net?
Enough to support Pets.com stock?
Alas, the company needed a vet.
Now there's no more hand for the sock.
     -- Robert "Dead Broke" Brokamp (TMF Bro) 

Inhuman beast, wily cunning puppet glommed.
Hear no more the animal lust of pets.conned.
     -- Richard "Cross" Dressner (TMF Twitty)

"I'm not dead yet!"
Cried Wetherell the Brave,
But CMGI
Has one foot in the grave.
    -- Rex "Witches' Hex" Moore (TMF Orangeblood)

Demi and Bruce, Arnold and Sly,
Tried to make Planet Hollywood fly
But those $12 burgers are so hard to market
They're buried six feet under a crimson red carpet
     -- Rick "Socrates Hemlock" Munarriz (TMF Edible)

Born: March First
Died: March First

Buy.com
Sold -- Dot Gone
     -- Rick "Baying at the" Munarriz (who thinks that Boo.com would make a great Halloween epitaph, though it never did go public and is probably a dot-com of ridicule only in certain insider circles).

Poor DrKoop.com, given a sedative
It doesn't look good, the prognosis was negative.
No cash flow. No cure. That's what it's about.
Take a number, I'm sorry, but the doctor is out.
     -- Rick "King of the Ghoulish Amusement Parks" Munarriz (TMF Edible already!)

Play time is over and under this dust  
Lies a company once was bigger than Toys "R" Us
But losses they mounted, and shoppers concluded
You can't turn it on when batteries are not included.
     -- Rick "Buy What You Know -- Vampire Inc." Munarriz (still TMF Edible, and writing about eToys)

Jack was feeling peckish
But then something started to smell.
Trust-busters Welched on his deal
And Jack could not eat Honeywell.
     -- Robert "Ghoulish Fiend" Brokamp (TMF Bro)

Oh how we miss you Ransom Eli Olds,
In 1897 your gas powered carriage was so bold!

Fast forward to the sixties on the street,
where your 442 could not be beat!

Alas, by the eighties your sales goals were met,
by building barges for the blue haired set!

Retired people cannot be a customer core,
GM says Oldsmobile can be no more!
     -- "Chainsaw" Al Silber (TMF Weasel)

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Next: More Scary Stories »

The Motley Ghoul's Tricks represent the opinions of each Fool only and should in no way be taken as the opinion of either The Motley Fool, Inc. or any company in question, or as representative of anyone or anything other than that specific Fool's thoughts. So do your homework, and review The Motley Fool'sdisclosure policy.


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