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Stock Market Down, Underwear Sales Up

Updated on March 15, 2011

Last week Thursday Warren Buffet may well have seen a boost in his underwear profits. He is, besides being the second richest man in the world, also owner of the company that owns the popular Fruit of the Loom brand. Rest assured that, without a doubt, more than a few Wall Streeters soiled their undies but good when the stock market took a stomach wrenching, jaw dropping, and shit yielding 1,000 point plunge, all in a matter of about 11 minutes.

It's still up in the air as to what the actual cause was. There's a ton of speculation about fat fingers, a $1 billion dollar Proctor & Gamble trade, algorithmic selloffs, and beyond that there is no doubt that countless limit orders, stop loss orders, and other such orders also contributed to the massive tailspin drop because when all the prices were dumping their value, most of these pre-entered orders became effective. Most traders, including myself, keep limit orders open during the trading day to buy stocks at the day's anticipated lows, and sell at the day's anticipated highs.

What a sight, though. To watch the value of individual stocks, let-alone the entire value of your portfolio literally digest itself in a matter of minutes. It is a bit unnerving. Granted, the markets did indeed recover most of those losses, but Friday was fairly lousy too. The entire last week the markets shed over 629 points even without counting the 1,000 point decline.

This recent situation certainly may cause some smaller investors to again rethink the sensibility of trusting in the markets as a place to grow your life's savings and have something set aside for retirement. Certainly more than just Wall Streeters soiled their underwear that day, my own notwithstanding.

I say it may cause smaller investors to again rethink the sensibility of trusting in the markets because quite a lot of that trust was already whittled away at through the Great Recession which saw the markets lose nearly 50% at it's height. People are nervous. People are not just nervous about the markets, they're nervous about the people in the markets. Their nervous that people, not computers, that manipulation, not algorithms, are the cause of the woes of everything to do with finances and financial markets. They are nervous that there are deep rooted shenanigans at work here. And there will be some digging in to a few of those possibilities through Congressional hearings and the like—not that they'll likely produce much in the way of you really think Congress really understands the markets?

But nerves are more than understandable.

Still, I am 100% confident that we can all rest assured that the market is still a place to put one's money. Bad people and bad situations will always be a factor in the markets. And let's look at the big picture outside of the 1,000 point newsmaking event. Even with the trading error, the markets were not doing so well up until Thursday. It wasn't like the market had been rallying all week and then all of sudden...kaboom! We were down 200 points already before the 1,000 point plunge occurred on that day, and the whole week was riddled with unnerving news about Greece among myriad other factors. And don't forget, we had a scare in New York again, and while that wasn't talked about much as a factor in stock prices I'm positive that the heightened threat of a terror attack must weigh in somewhere.

We've had two failed terror attempts. Does this mean that the third time is a charm? Does the second attempt give pause to investors confidence? You better believe it does. And guaranteed a successful attack will have a major impact on the markets and the confidence of investors overall, and this has to be priced in somewhere as well.

The 1,000 point plunge was scary. It's also unusual. It's also something not likely to necessarily happen again. At least not any time soon.

Markets have ups and downs. That's how it has always been since markets were created. And that's the way it should be. That's the way I want it to be. In a lot of ways it's what makes the market itself. When we saw the Dow lose 50% of its value at the bottom that helped us all in some ways. The 629 point correction in the markets helps us all as well—again the 1,000 point drop discounted. It means that reality has been restored to the stock market. It means you really do have to pick good stocks and invest wisely unlike in the 90's when all you had to do was buy a stock to make money. Any stock. Forget brick and mortar. Forget profits. Forget fundamentals. Forget common sense.

What Thursday was, and frankly all of last week was, and what this entire recession has been is a reset of our mindset about the markets and about money. It is a buying opporunity. Stocks have been on sale, and stocks are still on sale and going on sale. They'll go up. And yes, they will go down again. And then up again.

It kind of makes me think of that drinking song, "I get knocked down, but I get up again. You're never going to keep me down." You have to be in it to win it. You have to stay on top of it to keep yourself above it. And you have to maintain throughout the entire experience a sense of respect for the reality, and have common sense about it all.

Although, that said...I'd like to do all this and still keep my current underwear. This anomaly isn't a lot to worry about. But it certainly was no joke either.


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    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      Chaotic, ouch. Never ever consider the stock market least, it's not gambling unless you know how it all works and know how its done. :) I always get a kick out of folks who say "I can't understand the markets," yet can tell me who the GM for several sports teams are, who the coaches are, who the players are, what the player's stats are, what the teams stats are...

      The two things are exactly the same really in terms of tracking and numbers. Only difference in stocks, we follow who the CEOs are, what sales are, what the best performing brands are...

      Still, it CAN be a scary place in the beginning. I'll attest to that. The learning process can be painful. There's no doubt about that. But the reward is worth it. There's ABSOLUTELY no doubt about that.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, and glad you enjoyed the read nonethless. :)

      Soumyasrajan, thanks for the compliments, and glad you liked the article.

      Pamela, I like the lighter side of the stock market, so long as it's levity and not the size of my portfolio. :) Great to see you as always Pamela.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Springboard, Thanks for showing the lighter side of the stock market. I loved the underwear. Good hub.

    • profile image

      soumyasrajan 7 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

      nice article Springboard! I particularly like your style quite visible in title too.

    • Chaotic Chica profile image

      Chaotic Chica 7 years ago

      The stock market always has, and still does, scare me. I suppose it's partly because it confuses me but also because it just doesn't make sense to me to keep putting my money into a gambling pit and hope that it grows rather than shrinks. Oh, well, I'm never going to be able to convince others not to use the stock market so I'll just sit back and enjoy publications like yours while safe in the knowledge of knowing where my money is! :)

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      Lctodd, when things like this occur, one must see the lighter side else tops of buildings might become a launchpad to certain doom. :)

      Peggy W, not a bad idea. And Berkshire (owner of Fruit of the Loom) just got easier to buy after the first stock split recently in the history of the stock. I just wish it wasn't so tied to Warren himself—he and Charlie Unger are getting pretty old and if either of the coots passes, especially Buffet, the stock may take a dip until anyone has the confidence that whoever takes the reign can be as frugal and keen on the markets as Buffet is.

      Carolina, thanks and your welcome. :) Just looking for bargains now.

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Good luck with your investing, and thanks for an interesting hub!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      If countries keep spending more than they are bringing in with revenue then we can expect much more of this. We cannot run our household budgets on borrowed money indefinitely...nor can countries. If the U.S. and other countries do not make some sound decisions soon and stop this spending spree...then underware sales will soar according to your analogy. Maybe it's time to buy more Fruit of the Loom?

    • lctodd1947 profile image

      lctodd1947 7 years ago from USA

      Interesting to say the have some great,honest, and sound informative stuff in this. Thanks for sharing with us and making us laugh.

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      Prettydarkhorse, I buy them at Walmart, but if I can do it, I look for the ones that are Made in USA. Like their socks, they're usually mixed on the hooks.

      Stan, lol. Yes, we all tend to do quite a LOT in our underwear. :)

    • Stan Fletcher profile image

      Stan Fletcher 7 years ago from Nashville, TN

      That's a nice mix of merchandise to go along with the hub. I read quite a bit while wearing my underwear, so I guess underwear and books DO go together. Great hub.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      fruits of the looms, I don't buy those at Walmart, good hub hehe. I was smiling, good analogy. This is a nice hub as it made me smile and there is a good thought to it, thank you, Maita

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      lol. I wasn't going to write about it, but I just couldn't resist. :)

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 7 years ago from USA

      Great title !

      Gus :-)))

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      Katie, or Depends. :)

      Hello and Billy, yeah, it's been a wild ride to say the least. But that's the markets. The best thing to do is not to panic (entirely lol) and take advantage of the crazy for opportunities.

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

      Loved the title brilliant and how right you are - pardon the pun but the market really put they really put the skids under the market.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for an interesting read. Who ever pulls the strings definite does at the moment.

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      Springboard, I don't know why I feel so dirty but I'm laughing my bum off, better to laugh than cry. Thanks for the honest dose of funny reality. They should be made to wear those fruit of the loom underwear till the market rises... a new ritual... Thanks and Peace :)

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      Drbj, puzzling true. But like businesses must be able to adapt to changing markets, so must the investor.

      Eovery, I only like the ones that are made in USA. :)

      POP, me too. Ups and downs make one queasy at times, but I always have to remind's part of the game. Have to adapt and overcome. Still, that 1,000 point drop did give me quite a startle.

      Sheri, well this was something of an anomaly. It will be further looked into now. Not that we'll know exactly what happened.

    • SheriSapp profile image

      SheriSapp 7 years ago from West Virginia

      My question is WHERE is the SEC??? Is it not their job to oversee the markets? I have heard not a peep about any investigation they may be launching. I also guarantee that SOMEONE somewhere made a pretty penny off that huge plunge!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      Thanks for making me see the lighter side of the market. Normally, I feel tormented by its ups and downs.

    • eovery profile image

      eovery 7 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      I knew there was a reason why I didn't like fruities of the looms.

      Keep on hubbing!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Love the stock market anomaly underwear analogy, Springboard. I'd laugh more if it wasn't so scary. These days the market "tiz a puzzlement."