Leave politics out of investing #1

Just Say NO!

I sent my colleague at work this link to a short news clip on the Huffingtonpost.com.

I knew he was there and that he saw it – the IM program we use at work indicates when there is activity from each user. There was a long pause, and then he finally replied,

“Do you really expect me to click and read that?”

I told him yes. He replied,

“Here is a pre-emptive “I hate you”.”

I fully admit, I knew my colleague’s political beliefs fall more towards the right, and I knew that the Huffingtonpost.com is generally known as a highly liberal news and blog site. I did it to prove a point. I wanted to show how very seriously many people take politics. Many take their political views as a reflection of who they are as a person. Many times a person can get so emotionally involved that they even refuse to read certain articles based on the source.

The news clip had this juicy bit of information:

“IKEA is no longer stocking or selling incandescent light bulbs in its U.S. stores, instead offering longer-lasting and energy-efficient bulbs.

The retailer began phasing out the sale of the light bulbs in August. IKEA’s action comes ahead of federal legislation that would mandate more efficient light bulbs starting in 2012.

The pullout also applies to IKEA stores in Canada.”

My colleague finally clicked on the link and after reading it he immediately began ranting “Global warming is fake! Damn liberals ruining this country! Those bulbs are even more dangerous!” and so on and so on.

I tried to guide him to steer him to what I wanted him to see. I asked him “Do you notice anything interesting in this quote?”

“I see the country being ruined by liberals!”

I just had to tell it to him directly. What is interesting is the fact that the government will mandate more efficient light bulbs starting in 2012.

So what does this mean to us?

As the policy is put into place there will essentially be large amounts of new light bulb sales as people and businesses will be forced to update their lights. IKEA is already starting. Others will have to follow eventually. Now I don’t know how much this will boost the revenues of energy efficient light bulb manufacturers in the grand scheme of things, but we know that a possible investment opportunity now exists.

After explaining this, my colleague still had a hard time not ranting. He, just like every other one of the 1300+ comments on the article, just could not see past the politics.

The lesson is simple: Leave politics out of investing. While others blindly fight and bicker over whether or not global warming exists, you can make moves on what is actually happening – changes in policy and laws. Let their opinions stop them from taking advantage of the opportunities.

I tend to take this approach:

It’s coming, we can’t stop it, we may not necessarily like it, but we can profit from it.

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