I admit it. I own a piece of America. I am a very small part of the "Corporate World"
Several years ago I thought it might be fun to buy into the Stock Market. I am not talking a lot of money here, I am not that kind of guy. But I had a good year that year and was willing to invest $5,000.
I did a little research and now realize that I should have done a whole lot more. I want to explore my reasoning with you, why I put it where I did.
I could have put it into Apple Computer and bought their stocks at $200 a share. That would be just 25 shares in a technology I knew nothing about. It seemed like a lot of money in an already topped out market.
We had a chip manufacturing company in our city. They came here with huge promises, lots of money and tremendous tax breaks. They built the biggest building in our city and demanded 20% of our water and 20% of our electricity, a necessity in their operations. Both were rerouted to them along with street improvements
and other infrastructure developments. It was a huge project taking over three years to complete.
I think they hired about 500 people and paid them good wages although the top management was from Korea. The building sits vacant now with overgrown grass. Streetlights that still work on roads that go nowhere.
The computer business can change over night. I think the whole operation moved to Thailand in one weekend. The building sits empty as sort of a monument. It has a huge parking lot.
So that was all scary to me and I didn't want to invest in computers, although Apple sells for close to $400
a share today. I could have doubled my money! It is funny. Apple Computer has more money than our Federal Government!
I did look at Gold. In tough times of economic insecurity Gold has been the standard of investors. When all collapses around you gold always raises in value. You can possess gold, take it with you. Hide it in your underwear. I think one needs to be a pessimist to invest in Gold. I have faith we will get out of this economic mess and come to our senses. I had images of being beaten and my gold stolen. Nothing seemed "right" about that. Betting on gold was betting on disaster and "winning" meant wanting things to get worse.
I wanted to invest this paltry sum in something I believed in and knew a little about. I wanted some potential of course. This was a business venture and I wanted a profit.
I couldn't invest in anything that damaged the Earth or frankly, anything that helped the Arab World gain more wealth. If there is a God I would hate to sit at His knee and discuss how I destroyed His garden!
I had no interest in oil even if it trippled my assets.
I wanted something that could be reused, recycled, regenerated, born again, over and over. Something that cleaned up this planet. I am thinking that if we ever get our act together we need to build. Major Public Structures can put millions of people to work. That is how the Pyramids were built or the Great Wall in China. Our own infratructure, our roads and bridges have not been significantly improved since the 1960's.
You can't build anything without steel.
More steel is created through recycling than through mining these days. Refridgerators, bed springs, old toasters and automobiles and the stuff bought last week at Walmart gets recycled into new steel, becomes rebar and structural steel. Maybe a bicycle.
There is a Schnitzer Steel Yard in my town and I see the pile to be recycled gaining height every day and then it disappears, loaded up in box cars to the steel mill where it is melted down.
This is a huge company with yards all over America, starting with a guy and his horse drawn cart in Alaska over a hundred years ago. It is an American Story and I liked that.
It has been a roller coaster, going from $25 to $50 to as much as $117 per share and now about back to $50. It will grow with America or fall by the wayside with us.
I choose to keep it.