Our Fascination with the Stock Market

What is with our obsession with the stock market? Every morning I read the paper and productivity is up, housing prices are down, manufacturing is stagnant, consumer spending is down….you catch my drift. But no matter what the other news, we always seem to refer back to the stock market. If the market goes up, we all feel great (or does the market go up BECAUSE we feel great) and when it goes down, everyone is concerned for their wellbeing. Why is that? Most of the time, the stockmarket is not even based on reality, it is based on someone's perception of reality. How fast do we think this company is going to grow and whether or not that company is going to be acquired…it is all speculation.

I am tired of hearing about "double-dip recessions" and "downturns." Maybe part of the reason things are not going as well as they should is because all we ever read and hear about are the businesses having trouble and indicators dropping. What about all of the great innovation going on in the world, why not more news about that? I think that it is easy to focus on a well-known indicator like the stock market to assess the health of our economy, but it does not tell the story. Many businesses are thriving…what are they doing right? Sure, there are some businesses that have been seriously impacted by the economy, but is this because of the slump or because these businesses were poorly run or too slow to change to an adapting marketplace?

It is easy to generalize, but my main point here is, let's not focus so much on the daily ups and downs of the stock market to indicate success or failure. Let's look at ways that we can make businesses run better and improve the world around us. That would be something worth reading about.


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