Malia and Sasha Obama were adorable at the Inauguration, and the world took notice.

Their outfits were specially made by J. Crew. When word got out about this, parents flocked to crashing the server!!

The following day, J. Crew’s stock was one of very few that was up for the day. Way up.

Little girls will want whatever touches Malia and Sasha–whether it’s clothes, or toys, or other things that tween girls are interested in.

As an investor, it may be wise to become familiar with the companies that serve tween girls. Because these two adorable girls may be a factor in moving the prices of these firms in the market.

All the best to them, Mrs. Obama and the President. What a thrilling and exciting time.

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PRESIDENT Obama!! Let’s relish in that moment. President Obama….

Okay, the celebration is over now. His address was somber. Very realistic. And there is a reason why. We have a long, tough road to rebuild confidence in the future of America’s economy.

The proof was in the Dow today. Right now, the Dow is inching towards 8000 down 215 points. This may partly be due to the somberness of the speech. Because why would President Obama take the one occasion when everyone around the world is watching to talk about the troubles that lie ahead if we weren’t in a dire period in history?

This is why I’m continuing to look at bonds for money that’s needed within 3-5 years. Another option may be short-term Foreign Exchange trading. But the stock market–the market where equity can be given and taken away from public corporations by investors–is iffy in the short term (albeit one of the best inflation defenses in the long term).

As President Obama said, the situation and the tools are new. So the next 6 months at minimum for a person in finance are synonymous to walking through a dark room with a blindfold. Although, if you’re experienced in trading during uncertain times, that experience is your guide dog or walking stick…I think you get my point.

But even though there is uncertainty, no doubt he’s the perfect leader for today. He’s inspiring, and the majority of Americans have confidence in his ability to lead. But is there enough confidence to encourage Americans to put their hard-earned dollars into our economy via spending and investing, and not in their mattresses and money markets?

I’ll tell you this much, however. I think Bush is a great guy. He mouthed “You’ll have the time of your life, I promise you” to Michelle Obama as he got on his helicopter. He’s genuine, and no doubt I’d enjoy having a beer with him.

But his administration made bad choices, and governed with fear. So if there’s ever a way to boost American’s confidence that change has arrived, showing the picture below may be the way:

President Obama, it’s ok to smile today. It may even help the Dow.

Want to understand the stock, bond and options markets in a unique and fun way? Please buy my book Three Little Securities!

Happy Birthday MLK

by Michelle P. on January 19, 2009 · 0 comments

Every year, I watch this speech by Martin Luther King Jr. The ending is always what you see on TV. But what’s striking are the beginning and middle.

The promise of the United States was to be a place where all people were equal. However, only a subset of people in the union were given those rights. The rest–not only blacks, but immigrants and women–were not granted those rights.

Up until the 60’s, blacks in particular were oppressed economically by laws that prevented the build-up of wealth. For example, it was difficult if not impossible to get a mortgage for a home in a nice area.

Tomorrow we inaugurate our first black president and there’s talk of how he’s a post-racial candidate. However as I prepared my breakfast this morning, it hit me that the ghosts of racism will not be gone. Not from my life, not from our children’s lives, and perhaps not even from our grandchildren’s lives.

As long as there is a generation that’s alive that sees race as a factor in judging someone, and as long as certain perceptions still exist (for example, when you imagine a CEO you likely imagine an older white male), then the next generation will learn those biases whether subtly or overtly.

The ghosts fade with each generation, but squeezing it completely out of our everyday lives will take a very very long time. In fact, noone who is alive today will likely be alive when that happens.

One of the beautiful parts about Obama’s Inauguration is that his children one day–when asked what their parents do–will be able to say that their parents were President and First Lady of the United States.

The day when more little children in minority groups can say that their dad is the CEO of Morgan Stanley or their mom is a senator _and_ have this not be a surprise to the listener, is the day when MLK’s dream will be a reality.

Having Obama as president is blowing a lot of people’s minds in my parents’ generation. But what would blow my mind? Perhaps meeting a random black person and finding out that he is a managing director on the derivatives desk at an investment bank, or she founded a software development firm that rivals Google.

Please freeze me so that I can experience the joy of that moment.

And the Inauguration Events Begin! Man Working!

by Michelle P.

It’s no doubt an exciting time as Obama and Biden begin their “slow roll” (to quote the words of Chuck Todd, the endless source of pop culture references) towards Washington. I watch excited and hopeful, yet realistic. I hope that ideological differences and political egos won’t cause BS to hold up changes from being implemented […]

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