The Internet, Stock Market and Knee Jerk Reactions

by Bruce E. Simmons :

The Internet that Al Gore invented (just joking) has made many things possible. We can do things in minutes what would take hours of yesteryear. I used to get my paycheck in my hand, and then drive to the bank, stand in line and deposit my hard earned money.

When ATM's came along, I was in pig heaven. I could just drive up at anytime of the day, and deposit my check.

Now, we've got automatic deposit! Life is a wonderful basket of sliced bread bits. I can't imagine it getting any better. Woo hoo! No, No, I didn't just say WaMu! Actually, can't anymore.

Well, I remember how I'd have to go through hoop after hoop to interact with my 401k or individual stocks that I owned.

But now, as the ads say on various products, all I now need is the internet, and that's true. In less than 15 minutes from the culmination of my thought, I can interact with my 401k, change my mix of investments to T-Bills or what not, and be done with it.

Wow, that was easy.

But the internet can make too many things too easy.

Now, with the whisper of a whimper from the news desks, every Joe and his mother or sister can react in fright and "save themselves" from the financial tragedy that is occurring these days by selling their stocks and closing their 401k's. Ask Lehman. They've crumbled from this convenience.

I'm not saying that the internet is creating something new. But what I offer is the premise that what used to take a day or two, can now take an hour or two.

When transactions took a day or two, sometimes there was time for entities to come to their senses and stall their choices. Today, your decisions impact the market immediately.

Back on 9/29/08, around $1 trillion in 401k's and other funds evaporated as the market dropped 778 points. Which is a bit bigger than the $700 billion dollar bail out plan that everyone has issues with.

No, I don't blame the internet, but it sure made it easier to happen.

Thanks Al Gore! (Just Joking)