First Church of the Stock Market Convenes with the Ringing of The Bell

 “It’s not a question of whether people should have religion; it’s a question of what kinds of religion they’re going to end up having… If you spend all your time watching the stock market, your religion is the stock market.” — Novelist Margaret Atwood in an interview

Welcome, fiscal parishioners, to the First Church of the New York Stock Exchange. As always, we will begin our stock market service today with the ceremonial ringing of The Bell.

stock marketIt is Monday and we give thanks once again for the beginning of a new week. Remember always that each financial week is a gift from the one all-powerful Market. But for the guiding grace of Her Invisible Hand, we would be but poor bartering souls devoid of profit motive and lacking in any real long term growth.

As the exchanges around the world open, we give thanks for what the Market has bestowed upon us. She has provided all manner of gifts from limited liability corporations to convertible debentures and bundled derivatives which allow us to grow and achieve complete investment.

Of course, we cannot know the true workings of the Market. We are but poor brokers, bankers and stockholders who share in Her everlasting abundance. Do not expect full knowledge of the financial universe but instead be thankful for the brief glimpses of its wonders that we can glean from the indices that surround us.

Please turn to today’s reading from the Dow Jones Industrial Average. As you can see on the Big Board behind me, we are already up 37 points this morning. Praise the Market and consider increasing your holdings in an index fund to demonstrate your faith in Her ultimate goodness.

If you will now pick up the Prospectus in front of you, we will join together in song and celebrate the joy that is our corporate structure. Please turn to page six where you will find the financial statement.  Join me in reciting the assets, liabilities and yea the extraordinary items which comprise the corporate web that binds us all.

Today’s sermon is based on the words of the First Investor: “Diversify your holdings and invest for the long term.” There are those who think that the Market will always reward them, that there will be but one never ending increase in wealth. They are devastated by downturns; their faith is tested.

The Market will sometimes even halve our wealth to test us. But those who have true faith in Her are not troubled by the fluctuations in their net worth. For they know that these are but paper exercises.

There are those who failed that test in recent years. Many of us saw our portfolios plunge in value. Some of us gave up, absorbed our losses and reverted to money market funds or, worse yet, term deposits and Treasury bills yielding little but fully taxable minuscule interest income.

But those who are true believers did not budge. Yes, they were scared and they sometimes questioned the ultimate wisdom of the Market. But those who kept their holdings have already seen what some would call a miraculous rebound.

But it is no miracle. It is merely the inevitable growth that the Market yields to those who remain fully invested. For She does not work in daily, monthly or even yearly cycles. She is forever and her growth Eternal.

The Market calms all worries and fears. She makes the bears lie down with the bulls. She makes the futures bright for all who believe.

But you must embrace the Market fully. Avoid half measures and invest all in equities. For it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a man to enter the world of wealth through fixed income investments alone.

As we rise to sing a hymn of praise, our advisors will take up the daily collection. Please give whatever you can, be it an MER of 2.5% or a back-end fee of five percent or more. Remember, the Market is there for you both now and forever. Amen.

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David Martin
David is a writer of political satire and short humor and his work has appeared in most major North American newspapers, including the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune. He has also been published in various magazines including Newsweek, Smithsonian Magazine and Funny Times.