Buy high, sell low
I know people who are excellent with money, who buy securities at just the right time, watch the market, sell when stocks are high and invest when commodities are low. I am not one of those people. I have a motto, “Buy high, sell low,” which unbelievably has a label, “loss eversion.” Put simply, it supposedly means I feel more emotional pain from loss than emotional pleasure from gain. The think tank who came up with that are dolts.
While working in his garage, inventor Jamie Siminoff kept missing mail deliveries because he couldn’t hear his doorbell. In 2011, he developed a wifi-enabled doorbell which he called “DoorBot” and in 2013 he pitched his product on Shark Tank and asked for $700,000 to further his business. He explained that this doorbell allowed people to remotely see and talk to whomever was at their front door via their smartphone.
Everyone on Shark Tank except Kevin O’Leary poo-poohed his idea. Jamie turned down the offer from Mr. O’Leary because the inventor, though broke and disappointed, believed in his invention and felt he wasn’t getting a very good deal. In 2015, Jamie set up a card table at an electronics show and met potential buyers like Walmart and Target who agreed to put the doorbell, which was renamed “Ring” into their stores. Jamie felt the need to have service after the sale and wanted to hear from consumers so he put his real email address on every box.
Five years later in 2018, Amazon bought Jamie’s product for $1.4 billion (with a “b”), its second-largest acquisition. I wish I’d invested in Kleenex because those multimillionaires on Shark Tank are crying into a lot of tissues now. Since that first video doorbell, there are several types, as well as home and business security systems and cameras, plus smart lighting. He remains an active CEO of Ring and continues to dream up new creations and he’s apparently friendly with my sons. They own most of his gadgets.
I was happy to find out that Jamie had been the developer of Unsubscribe.com, a service that helps email users clean commercial email from their inboxes. I hate to brag, but I’ve probably been his best customer with this endeavor. Well, I was his best customer, now I’m somebody else’s because he sold that business too. And don’t quote me because I’m only guessing, but I’ll bet he closed the deal at a profit. What?
Jamie studied entrepreneurship at Babson College in Massachusetts. I didn’t know such a thing existed and thus, this is probably why I’m not rich today. Well, not knowing schools offered entrepreneurships as a curriculum and the buy high, sell low habit I seem to be so fond of. Maybe another reason Jamie is smart and rich and I’m not, is he jogs every day. Every day. That would be as awful as smiling every day. Whether rich or poor I’d be seriously inquiring, “When does the bad activity end?”
I was once asked to be involved with a research forum on the analysis of numbers. I told them math was not my strong point but they insisted all levels were needed for the study. Upon completion, I never heard from the professor again. After a few hours of witnessing my numerical incompetence and my breathtakingly total lack of experience using wisdom, he may have decided life wasn’t worth living after all. I did glean a few things from the discourse and was somewhat taken aback by the facts.
In the United States, over a third of adults have more credit card debt than they do savings and nearly half of Americans don’t have $1,000 saved. In comparison, I’m happy to report Gar and I are doing spectacularly well. I also feel pretty good knowing I may be a ninny, but I’m in good company. Walmart bought Bonobos, a men’s clothing business for $310 million in 2017. Recently they sold it for $75 million. Truly a kindred spirit. We’re practically cousins. Then Mexico purchased a presidential jet for $200 million and sold it to Tajikistan for roughly $92 million. I’d call that a loss and because I’m not a good person, I’m a little bit happy about it.
Actually, it’s okay not to be great at something. Nikola Tesla had a photographic memory, and as a youngster in Croatia, he was a math whiz who could perform integral calculus in his head, prompting his teachers to think he was cheating. I’ve never had this rotten luck.
By Trena Eiden, [email protected]