Dumb Investment Reasoning

I see that HBC has decided on $17 a share for its upcoming IPO, and when I read that I thought:

“… well that is just fine, I don’t care if it’s 2 cents a share, I am not buying stock in that company…”

Why the vitriolic response, you might ask? (aside from the obvious vitriol and bile I normally spout). Simple, a loved one was hired by the Bay, treated shabbily, never really trained and then summarily fired for not fitting their mold of what they wanted in a shoe sales person (in my opinion, of course). Sounds like a perfectly legitimate reason not to invest to me, if you hold a grudge with a company, you should withhold your money and business from them. Will the good folks at HBC care about this? Probably not (not that I really think they should either, I am a single investor and consumer) but this is how I feel.

Stepping back and putting my Clown Prince of Personal Finance (and investing) hat on (no it doesn’t have bells like the Motley Fool guys, that is just too old hat for me), this is a moronic reason not to invest in something, however, I also don’t know enough about the HBC business model and what their prospects for growth are, in the current economic situation that Canada is in (which is something that is essential to know before you invest in this stock or any other stock). In this vacuum of information, a negative opinion like that is good enough for me to keep my money in my pocket (some call it conservative, but abject fear is a good way of looking at it as well).

I knew people in the naughty 90’s who refused to buy Nortel because they didn’t get hired by them, and that reason while petulant, resulted in a fantastic decision (long-term, you could have gotten rich on Nortel if you bought and sold at the right times).

The Warren Buffett statement that if he doesn’t understand a business he doesn’t invest in it, is very valid, and most times I will attempt to follow that, but sometimes I allow personal feelings to help along the way too. The danger is, you can’t put on rose-colored glasses either and ignore bad things because you really like some part of a business either (e.g. I like their logo, their spokes models are hot, or a good friend of mine works there).

Do you have any petulant reasons you have used while investing (or shopping for that matter)?

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