After 9 seasons and 209 episodes, “”How I Met Your Mother”” comes to a close tonight. We will get the one story that we've all been waiting for: how Ted Mosby met the mother of his children. I myself have been a huge fan and have enjoyed the journey following the misadventures of Ted, Marshall, Lilly, Robin and of course the legen… wait for it… dary Barney Stinson.
Before we say goodbye…
What can Barney Stinson teach us about investing?
Lesson 1: Suit Up!
Barney would never sacrifice quality when it comes to buying his custom suits and you should follow this rule to a T in your investments. Don't ever buy anything called junk. It's called junk for a reason. Don't buy penny stocks as they are a penny for a reason. You don't go to the dollar store to buy filet mignon so don't buy a penny stock expecting your investment to turn into Disney, Apple or Exxon.
Only invest in the highest quality companies that deliver consistent and real earnings growth quarter after quarter, year after year.
Lesson 2: What is Barney's job at Goliath National Bank? No one knows.
Not one of Barney's friends knows what he does for a living but he seems to make a boatload of cash given his penchant for custom suits and incredible NY apartment. This lesson can be applied to your investments. Don't ever invest in something that you can't understand, even if the profits are ever so tempting.
Many people were suckered by Enron's booming profitability even though no one seemed to be able to understand what they were doing to earn record profits. Companies that rely solely on acquisitions to grow are also suspect. Tyco would acquire totally disparate businesses and through “synergies” their growth would immediately improve and profits expand. Only problem was that the synergies were actually fraud. Oops.
Lesson 3: The Bro Code, Article 2: A bro is always entitled to do something stupid, as long as the rest of his Bros are all doing it
This reminds me of 1999-2000 when everyone from taxi drivers to hairdressers was dolling out stock advice. Sure they were buying stocks on valuation metrics like number of eyeballs (how could that go wrong?) but they were making money hand over fist so it was awesome. The caveat to Article 2 is don't be the last Bro to be doing the stupid thing because it will cost you “craploads of dollars.”
Lesson 4: “When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story.”