Monday, September 29, 2008

Where are you, S&P?

Investing is always a hard subject. I come from a mixed collar (blue/white) family. Passive income was never an options...just making enough to put food on the table is more like it. However, I am fascinated by the markets and corporations and investing strategies even though I don't have a dime to invest. But that doesn't keep me from trying to figure out a market strategy. Here's a new one.

So the experts say to invest in what you know? or do they? Well maybe that's novice writers, but the rule probably still applies. What better company to invest in (or research) than those in your own back yard. One investment adviser once wrote that one of the best indicators of a company doing well is the number of cars in the parking lot early in the mornings and on weekends. A full lot means lots of people are working, and that is a good thing no matter the industry.

Since I live in Nutley, I drive by the US Roche HQ a few times a week. I get to see if they parking lot is full or dead. I also get to see if there is new construction or vacancies (harder to tell, but I pick things up from local contractors). Anyway, it is a company in my backyard so I can (besides collecting industrial waste in the groundwater), collect intel on the workforce trends. Now wouldn't it be easy to follow other companies as well. I work in NYC four blocks from the Goldman Sachs HQ, but anyone who has ever seen the stately brown skyscraper, knows what goes on inside is not open for the public, unless you happen to be a temp, which I was for three years, but that is another story (however not unrelated).

To my point...I want to see a map of the US with markers of all public companies showing the headquarters addresses on a map. This way, next time I drive down main street in anytown usa, I might be able to see a company that might be worth investing in, or not. That should take a qualified programmer like two hours to do, right?

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