The economic climate has changed drastically, and traditional practices are no longer getting results. Modern investing requires a whole new approach, and Cocktail Investing is the clear, insightful guide for putting it into action.
A man must defend his home, his wife, his children and his martini.
- Jackie Gleason
Happiness is...finding two olives in your martini when you're hungry.
- Johnny Carson
My focus sharpened as I ascended the steps to the presentation platform. I may have some generous delusions about myself, but I am pretty clear that seeing me trip backside-over-tea-kettle in a skirt and stilettos when trying to mount the all-of-five steps up to the stage where the other panelists were sitting would not exactly give the audience the image of a highly competent woman I'd like to convey.
Hating to be the first to speak, I always try to sit farthest from the moderator in the hope that he or she will get to me later on and give me a chance to come up with something funny or memorable in response to what another panelist has stated with total conviction: my inner-Conference Katniss gets competitive. Damn it, though, some guy with a cocksure grin had taken the spot I covet. I grumbled internally and took the seat next to him. Nonchalant chit-chat ensued, as usual, between the panelists as we waited for the presentation hall to fill. In my Katniss-mind, this lull before the action is akin to that of the Roman gladiators prior to their entrance into the Coliseum. With my usual level of pre-public speaking adrenaline flowing, the reality that the average fitness level of those of us on stage was somewhere around that of The Big Bang Theory 's Sheldon Cooper was irrelevant.
Finally, the hall was sufficiently full and the moderator asked us to take our seats on stage. He grabbed his microphone and introduced us Investment Gladiators with a Cliff's Notes version of our respective resumes, giving each of us the opportunity to try and smile wisely to the crowd and offer appropriate glances of modesty...as if we hadn't sent those bios in ourselves. A bit of throat clearing and water sipping followed. I haven't yet met a speaker at one of these things who isn't secretly at least a little nervous that when he or she first opens their mouth, their voice will come out sounding squeaky like a boy in the tumult of pre-pubescence.
The moderator thankfully began with the gentleman seated immediately to his left, who launched into a clearly well-practiced diatribe, painfully monotone, on his favorite asset class, with a series of statistics and proclamations, clearly intended to exact awe as to his technical prowess and engender confidence in his ability to read through all that analysis to find the "truth." All of us on that stage seek to be useful truth tellers, financial diviners in suits, toting iPads.
As the first panelist gets momentum going in his spiel, Mr. Seat Stealer to my left slid an innocuous sheet of paper with some rough scrawls on it toward me. I glanced down, as I nodded my head, hopefully sagely, along with the speaker's various points. The scratchy text read, "Has he taken a single breath yet?" I barely managed to suppress an entirely undignified giggle, face flushing a telltale pink as I was painfully aware of the some thousand or so individual investors watching us all on stage. Those in the audience giving us their time are each hoping that if they pay attention and focus hard enough, they'll learn "The Secret" that will give them the ability to invest safely and successfully-or at least learn a few "hot" stock tips that they can "ride to big profits." Who doesn't want that? They deserved my utmost attention and A-level effort, but I'm a sucker for an irreverent sense of humor, and speaker #1's droning was like a high-powered Unisom.
With brows furrowed in an attempt to appear as though I was taking thoughtful notes, I quickly jotted back, "My yawn is just a silent scream for coffee." SS stifles a laugh and writes back, "So I've been wondering what my dogs have named me." I responded with, "I have a suspicion that my inner ch