Back when I was in high school, my history teacher decided to conduct a little experiment with us. We were studying the Stock Market Crash of 1929. So, my teacher thought it would be fun to see how capable his 16-year old students were of handling a stock portfolio. (Now that I think about it, he was probably just looking for free stock tips . . . )
We broke into teams of three, and were each given $100,000 (fake, of course). Each team was then asked to “invest” the money in the stock market as we saw fit, using real time data about the stocks taken from various news outlets. Now, my teammates and I knew precisely nada about the stockmarket. And we figured that the assignment wasn’t going to be graded or anything. So we just had fun with it — purchasing “stock” in companies that sold stuff we liked or products we used, like Coca Cola, Gap, Google, Apple, Mars Candy etc.
The “game” went on for a month, with students having the opportunity to “trade” lousy stocks for better ones at the end of each week. At the end of the month, dollar amounts were tallied and teams were ranked. I am proud to report that Buddah Investments (Yeah, that was actually the name we chose for our team. Apparently, the creativity of a my teenage self knew no bounds. Oh, and one of my teammates was kind of a pothead.) won FIRST PLACE, beating the tushies off those snooty investment bankers’ kids whose portfolios floundered almost universally near the bottom of the pile.
No wonder our economy is in the crapper . . .
When we came to collect our winnings (which, unfortunately, did not include the actual value of our fake portfolios, but, rather $5 gift cards to Barnes and Noble), our teacher, always a veritable ray of sunshine, said, “Don’t get too cocky. When conducting this same experiment, a chimp, who threw darts at the business section of a newspaper to choose stocks, performed way better than you did (and, apparently, better than most stock market experts too).
At this time, we are pleased to introduce you to the next CFO of AIG . . .
So, why am I telling you all this? Because the notion that stock market trading is less a matter of analytical skill, and more a matter of luck and chance, has become the basis for what are, in my opinion, some of the cleverest (not to mention most adorable) commercials on television today. Of course, I’m talking about those awesome E-Trade Baby commercials that typically invade our television screens around Superbowl time each year.
In essence, these commercials have taken the basic premise of those old Geico commercials, which stated that becoming insured was “so easy, a caveman caveman could do it” . . .
. . . and applied it to the stockmarket.
Trading is so easy, a baby could do it . . .
I also enjoy the E-Trade commercials, because they remind me of one of my favorite movies from back when I was just an itty bitty kiddie myself:
So, without further adieu, I give to you, an E-Trade Baby Commercial Montage I found on YouTube:
But if stocks aren’t your thing, fear not. There is also this adorable video of the E-Trade Babies performing a tribute to Snoop Doggy Dog’s classic rap anthem, Gin and Juice. Viewer discretion is advised . . .