Apr 3, 2020

Investment Tips for the Self-Isolating!

Some insider hints for mandated insiders

By Ed Goldman

Just because we’re involuntary shut-ins doesn’t mean we should stop playing the stock market or getting into other ventures that happen along. Accordingly, here are four Investment Tips for the Savvy Self-Isolator.

You could call this “insider trading” but it’s unlikely that any of us who’ve been forced inside will be arrested—as long as what we’ve been doing inside doesn’t include our hollering, “That’s what I’m talkin’ about!” every time we beat our toddlers at UNO™.

1. Invest now in Bidet Futures.

Now, if you get wind of—I’m sorry, let me begin that again.

Now, if you hear of merger talks going on between the Charmin Paper Company and such bidet manufacturers as Blooming Bidet™, Clean Sense Bidet®, Galaxy Bidet® or GoBidet® (all of those names are real but the last one has the best name), better let a broker monitor the situation for you. It could mean there’s a monopoly in the works, and we don’t mean the board game that’s even more boring than UNO™.

2. Buy shares of the company whose alcohol you’ve been imbibing since this crisis began. This should satisfy your dream of making money while you slurp.
3. Ask some commercial developers who’ve purchased “air rights”—the property above the buildings they’ve built (this is a real thing)—if they’d be interested in forming a group to buy “social distancing rights.”

This would consist of the unclaimed six feet we’re supposed to be leaving between one another unless we’re married, domestic partners or we’re walking alongside a shorter person who strongly resembles one or both of us about 30 years ago. The law frequently defines these shorter persons as our “children” or, if we’ve all been cooped up together too long, as our “tax deductions.”

While it would be in poor taste in this time of crisis for you to charge people for trespassing on the “social distancing” space you’d now own, gently suggesting a small cash settlement for an “easement” or “right-of-way” might seem acceptable. I’d consult your attorney just to be sure. If you don’t have one, I’m sure the court will appoint one for you once everyone you know starts to sue you. And on that note…

4. Link up with an attorney who specializes in class-action lawsuits. See if you can get the population of Corona, California—the Riverside County city of more than 150,000 probably enraged people—to sue the people who named the Coronavirus.

As you know, President Donald Trump has been calling this pandemic the “Chinese virus,” in the process igniting (or re-igniting) cultural animosity. While race-baiting, lying and transparent stupidity are certainly in his “wheelhouse,” as they say, how do you think the residents of Corona—not to mention the brewer of the same-named beer (but they can get their own legal team on that)—feel about their fair city’s name being affixed to this medical catastrophe?

If they were looking to name this after one of California’s so-called Inland Empire cities, why didn’t they name it the Rancho Cucamongavirus, the Twentynine Palmsvirus or, to make it sound vaguely hip, the Coachellavirus?

Let’s find a lawyer who’ll do a free initial consultation with us. By phone would be optimal. But if it needs to be in person, how about meeting outside, like in a park? I happen to have recently put a down payment on a space just six feet outside the Corona city limit that I’d be happy to lease out at a discounted rate… .

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).