Hidden diamonds

Michael Greene, January 15, 2001

According to the Good Book, there's a time for everything. Good and bad. As it is said: "For everything there is a season," and since seasons repeat themselves, the Ol' Swami here is always in the process of bringing old thoughts up to fresh dates.

Like when I chose to point out that ol' goodies in music are going to come around once more (and so will Big Bands) because how long can the teenagers of today continue to dance with three feet of air separating them? It won't last and it isn't lasting. Proof? Just listen to the new commercial tunes popping up all over the dopey box with a bunch of them going way back to the '40s.

Woody Allen proved it a long time ago in every one of his films, but it took a long while for Madison Avenue to discover that you can pick up an oldie for a lot less money than a questionable modern that you have to pray will catch on.

And so it goes in our shmatteh business, as well. The biggies are constantly on the lookout for li'l gals and guys that know what they are doing. Home furnishing majors and multi-investment groups are always out there scouring for such diamonds.

Watch Warren Buffett. He keeps picking up such diamonds all the time and has been quoted as saying that he only picks up gems that have been bred by little people who not only know what they are doing but also love what they are doing, every day...and night. Diamonds.

Diamonds in our home furnishings shmatteh game? Can we expect dust ruffles with inlays of jewels? Or maybe a sparkling duvet? Not exactly. In our game here in never-never land, there are always business diamonds ready to be harvested by the big-biggies. Stuff like retail stores, manufacturers, maybe an importer and if we live long enough (and they do, too) some future diamonds in the dot-com race.

These diamonds are the culmination of years of dedication and hard work by dreamers. Diamonds they've mined day and night, cut and polished and then put into a setting that made them glow.

Wise investors measure them up against the competition and wisely deduce that they can be reinforced by staying power-also known as money in the bank. And that's great because, in most cases, the resources of the investors are constantly being reinvested for a second round of dreams.

But alas! the record reveals that most of the new forces lose sight of the diamond they purchased. They forget it's a polished one and not a rough cut stone. And before you can say "accountant" they start tinkering with what is not broken, instead of reinforcing it.

No one asked me but I say that's foolishness. A wiser move would be to look into the heart of the diamond and discover what makes it glow and then to reinforce those glowing qualities. A soft gloved touch is the best hands-on game. Otherwise, fine scratches develop and before you know it-a crack. Oy!

Thanks, again, for listening.

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