Hamlet on the Stockmarket

To invest or not to invest. That is the question.
Whether tis nobler in the portfolio to suffer
The slings and arrows of an outrageous stock-market
Or to seek cash in the face of a sea of buying
And by avoiding losses, end them. To cash up. To sleep.
Risk no more. And by holding cash, to say we end
The Heartaches, and the thousand natural shocks
That a share portfolio is heir to. 'Tis a prospect
Devoutly to be wished. To hold cash. To sleep.
To sleep, perhaps to dream of gains. Aye there's the rub.

For in that holding cash what gains may come
when we have shuffled out of our listed stocks?
Must give us pause. There's the respect that makes calamnity of so long cash.
For who would bear the risks and volatility of the stockmarket
The research calls gone wrong. The proud CEO''s contumely.
The pangs of profits foregone. The ASIC's delay.
The insolence of operators and the spurns,
That patient merit of a taxi driver takes.
When he himself might his own investment calls make.
With a bare bank account.

Who would stockbrokers' bear? (Who grunt and swear under a weary life).
But that the dread of missing a big bull market.
The undiscovered ten-bagger. From whose gains portfolio returns are so boosted that no investor complains.
Puzzles the will. And makes us rather bear those unrealised losses we have
Than fly to alternative investments that we know not of.
And thus the A.G.M. season of company resolutions.
Is sickled o'er by analysts, with the pale cast of thought.
And investments of great relative strength and momentum.
With this regard their share prices turn awry.
And lose the name of "growth stocks". (Soft shares prices you know).
The fair wife?   Nymph, in our dinner party talk
Be all my good picks remembered.

copyright John Aldersley March 2013

I wrote this about two decades ago but the original version is lost so this is an update.