Investor reaction to last week’s volatile markets ranged from the typical to the bizarre. Rob Carrick in the Globe and Mail wrote about an panicked investor who moved to cash at a seemingly inopportune time:
Mike Morrow, an investment adviser in Thunder Bay, Ont., said he knows of a woman, a senior, who moved all her holdings into money market funds on Wednesday. On Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average soared 3.9 per cent and the S&P/TSX composite jumped 1.6 per cent. Yesterday, there were more big gains. Meanwhile, some of the biggest money market funds in the country have lately been generating returns in the low 2-per-cent range on an annual basis.
The Wall Street Journal reported that investor reaction ranged from moving to cash, going on a spending spree to this rather unique strategy:
Carolyn Sloane, a 43-year-old paralegal in Wallingford, Vt., officially marked the end of the bull market by investing in cows. Ms. Sloane has been playing the stock market since 1989, but the rattling of Wall Street, she said, gave her a “desire for hard assets.” She recently sold all of her stocks and bailed out of mutual funds, and put part of the money in certificates of deposit. But she also wanted the kind of assets she could see in her own yard, so she bought three cows, two of which were delivered on Sunday.
“This is my commodity play,” she told perplexed relatives.
Her plan is to breed the cows, black-and-white Belted Galloways. “When they have offspring, that’s your dividend.”
Of course, there were some sensible buyers:
“I’m not going to panic,” said Robert Wilson, 78, a retired banker from Amarillo, Texas, whose money is socked away in bread-and-butter stocks he thinks will be a safe refuge. “You still drinking Coca-Cola?” he asked. “You still washing your clothes? That’s Procter & Gamble.”
“I’m not ready to jump out of a window,” said Bob Shanahan, a 49-year-old estate planning attorney and married father of two teenage boys from Annandale, N.J. “If I have to sell apples on the street corner, I have no problem with that. I can live modestly; a lot of people can’t.”
This week should be interesting.