How high can you get investing in Mary Jane?; Wither the rich gals to shop with Carmel Fisher; Gains and losses from workplace flirting; Fighting obselescence; Wracking up debt and ruining your life

How high can you get investing in Mary Jane?; Wither the rich gals to shop with Carmel Fisher; Gains and losses from workplace flirting; Fighting obselescence; Wracking up debt and ruining your life

By Amanda Morrall

1) Getting high - on Mary Jane stocks

My, my how times are changing in the U.S. The legalisation of medical marijuana in 18 states (plus Washington D.C.) has sparked a flurry of interest in small cap companies budding into this burgeoning little business. According to this Market Watch piece, a softening in the acceptance of pot for both recreational and medical use is creating hothouse conditions for companies moving into this area. A source quoted in the aforementioned story estimated the medical marijuana industry is worth US$1.7 billion U.S. Not sure we'll see New Zealand moving in this direction any time soon but it might pay to keep a close watch given game changing demographic changes headed our way. 

2) Shopping with Carmel Fisher

Boutique fund manager Carmel Fisher, in her most recent Sunday Star-Times column, bemoans the on-going pay gap between the sexes and concerning statistics that all too many women will be living off the smell of an oily rag in old age because of a lack of financial foresight and a scarcity of savings. Carmel worries she'll be the only gal on deck who can afford nice shoes (bought on sale of course) when she's cruising the world. I have a long way to go to catch up with Carmel but I'll be there sister. Just one question: Will I embarrass you if I wear my flip flops? Way more comfortable.

3) The economics of flirting

God bless America. Where else could you get away with discussing the economics of flirting on a national business show? This was just too entertaining to pass up. Imagine how dreary corporate culture would be without flirters.

4) Beware of planned obsolescence

A thing that has always puzzled me, is the manufactured consumer desperation for the latest, greatest. We don't see it so much in New Zealand but in the U.S., the release of the latest this, that or the other IT thing, will cause otherwise rational people to queue up overnight to crash through the doors of Wal Mart and the like for the privilege of being the first to empty their pockets. The sad thing about this herding mentality, apart from the fact that people sometimes get trampled, is that they'll be back in five years time reliving the same sorry scenario. Planned obsolescence means it's a never ending game that keeps consumers on a rope. 

What are the options? According to Forbes money writer Luke Landes you exercise choice (do you really need the latest iPhone model?) or accept the financial consequences of being stuck in a consumer cycle that will perpetually empty your pockets.

5) Too poor for your haircut?

Josh Sanburn, writing for Time Money, sheds some light on how up and coming New York writer Benjamin Anastas, found himself in a deep dark debt-driven hole. Interesting Q&A. Anastas learned the hard way that $85 hair cuts, when you're living on the dole, is a bad idea.



To read other Take Fives by Amanda Morrall click here. You can also follow Amanda on Twitter @amandamorrall

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FIVE YEARS?   Now I know you're just teasing, three at the max for a phone.
But seriously, back in the late 80's we in the computer industry used to say you didn't own technology, it was just a escalator you choose to get on. It was a big deal back then in areas like education who were ramping up. In the end leasing stepped in to smooth the whole thing out so they didn't get really old stuff or huge bills they couldn't digest every 3-5 years.

Yeah, you're right. Five years is glacial. What was I thinking?! I don't shop enuf apparently.:)

My phone is 2005, i was given it when the builder mate of mine got a new one....7 years old! works fine, I spend $40 2degrees pre-pay on it a year......
Computer Leasing, well thats certainly turned into a nightmare for us....We now buy with a 3 year warrantee and use for 4, move it on to a re-seller and get what we can. Simple and easier....If you want to extend the lease the leasing company pillages your wallet....cant find a monitor? you are charged almost for the price of a new one.  Now if you have 20 PCs OK, probably works....2000+ not from our experience.

Oooh don't knock those people who queue up all night just to get the next iPhone - it's a great indicator for the rest of us to know which people to avoid like the plague unless we waste any time trying to engage them in meaningful conversation later on in life.

When you meet someone and they mention The Block, Masterchef, children, a recent holiday to the Gold Coast, or that they queued to get the latest Apple gadget, it's instant justification for a speak to the hand sign and a parting comment of "You're dead to me".


At it's best flirting can uplift all involved. Badly done it can be quite destructive. But like many things it's an art that isn't taught anymore. Together with the political correct nazis it's a dangerous game to play now.
Then again, I've only lived the one life so maybe it's always been a dangerous game.

Together with the political correct nazis it's a dangerous game to play now

Yeah, bring back the good old Mad Men days...


Stop, you've gotten me all misty ..

I know! I got a round of frowning 'ooooh's yesterday in a meeting because my boss was spending ages redacting a PDF with Acrobat and I suggested he had better things to do with his time and should get one of the girls to do it.

Political correctness gone mad!