Dream Journal: 28 February 2001 (2) "Agricultural Stock"

I was sitting in the front living room of the House in Patriot. Sitting near me was a thin, gray-haired man, dressed in a gray suit. He was wearing glasses and was probably in his early sixties. Although I had met the man, I barely knew him. He seemed likeable and I rather enjoyed his company. He was talking to me about buying stock, describing one company after another; he apparently had a broad knowledge about many publicly traded stocks, and I inferred he was quite adept at trading stocks. Although I also traded stocks extensively, I wasn't familiar with most companies about which he talked. I knew the names of some companies, but little else. My experience was mostly with technology stocks, and not with the market as a whole.

He finally mentioned a stock with the letters SANM. I had recently read something about this stock. I pulled out a recent issue of Business Week and opened it to a page which contained small digests of many stocks. I now recalled I had bought and sold this stock once in the past. As well as I could recall, the company produced agricultural products. I tried to read what was said in Business Week; but when I tried to read, I couldn't seem to focus on the words, and I was unable to understand anything on the page.

I finally gave up and told the man I might buy some stock in the company. He asked me how much I would buy and I told him that I would only buy 100 shares, and that I would probably buy and sell very quickly. I often held stock for less than a minute when I was trading; but I always wanted to know as much as I could about a stock before I bought it. I asked the man where the company headquarters was located and we concluded the headquarters appeared to be in Toronto.

I told him I had difficulty in evaluating agricultural stocks because I simply didn't know what criteria to use in the evaluation. He mentioned that with this particular stock, I should be aware of "tax allocation." The idea seemed interesting, but I was clueless as to what tax allocation was, and I felt too embarrassed to ask him.

I noticed he had a small hand-held device with which he was able to obtain an instant stock quote. I had previously thought these types of devices were simply toys and of no practical value. But he seemed to be getting a lot of use out of his. He was even able to transact trades with the device. I might have to think about acquiring such a device. In the meantime, I would rely on my computer. I thought I would go ahead and buy 100 shares of SANM and see what happened.

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