OLD Media Moves

When Millie the Cat picked stocks for a biz editor

October 9, 2013

Posted by Chris Roush

Chuck Jaffe, who writes about investing for Marketwatch.com, reminisces about the time he let his cat, named Millie, pick stocks when he was the business editor of the Allentown Morning Call in Pennsylvania.

Jaffe writes, “Today, of course, most editors and publishers — but especially those covering the world of finance and investing — recognize that there are the diehard readers who must get their business fix every day, then the read-it-sometimes crowd, and then the vast majority of people who get their financial news only if it comes wrapped in videos of cats doing funny, amusing or cute things.

“It wasn’t a unique idea; there already were dartboard portfolios and other ideas trying to come to similar conclusions.

“But a quarter-century ago — before anyone had sent out ridiculous pictures and videos of their feline to every person who could loosely be categorized as a ‘friend’ — I thought it would be a fun way to get a different look at a market that was rising even as many investors still found it terrifying.

“There was nothing terrifying about the cat — named Millie Schembechler for the wife of the legendary University of Michigan football coach — but she had an annoying habit of finishing her breakfast and wandering over to where I had the newspaper spread out on the coffee table, and an uncanny knack for arriving just as I turned to the stock pages.

“Once there, Millie invariably stretched, rolled around — poring over the market’s daily fluctuations, I suppose — before settling down.

“And so, in September of 1988, I decided to see if she was sending me a message, and I charted the tip of her feet and nose to see what she was picking.”

Read more here.

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