How to Make Millions Off Misfortune

Put bubble markets to work for you, writes Joel Stein
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2008 9:15 AM CDT
A foreclosure sign tops a sale sign outside an existing home on the market in northwest Denver in this Aug. 29, 2007 file photo.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, file)
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(Newser) – From tech stocks to real estate, the succession of bubble markets leads Joel Stein to ask himself: How can I exploit other people's bad investment decisions? The Los Angeles Times columnist teams up with a Princeton economist "to figure out where people will idiotically dump their money next." Right now green technology, currency, wine, and art offer a great chance to capitalize on the financial misjudgments of others.

Trading low-yield dollars for higher-interest euros is a great strategy, Stein writes, as long as you get out of the market soon enough and reinvest "in hot tubs, champagne and ill-fitting bikinis." But as bubble succeeds bubble, the columnist worries that investors might well just park their money in mutual funds—a safe bet, but a boring one that saps the market of its "inane optimism."