It climbs, it falls, sometimes it even crashes. Who would take a ride on such a thing? No, it’s not an amusement ride or an ultra-light aircraft. We’re talking, of course, about the stock market.
Investing in stocks is often compared to riding a roller coaster, with its exhilarating ups and stomach-turning downs. Even in the midst of the current, unprecedented bull run, a missile test here or ill-advised tweet there can send the Dow into a steep plunge. Jack Ziegler illustrates this metaphor in a remarkably detailed drawing. Only the speaker, perhaps a seasoned investor, keeps his cool.
Sam Gross, one of the Old Guard among working cartoonists, relies on a different comparison. Humpty Dumpty sits not on a wall but on a Wall Street sign, apparently content in knowing that his great fall could lead to a recession or worse. This simply drawn cartoon, with the wordless communication between Humpty and the wary businessman below, is a gem.
Cartoonists have also played on the two common symbols of the market, the bull and bear. Mick Stevens leaves no doubt which way the market is going in another caption-less cartoon.
Investors who are too young to remember the market meltdown in 1987, tech bust in 2001, and Great Recession that began 2007 may harbor the notion that the market heads only in one direction. No wonder the child sleep serenely in this Barbara Smaller cartoon.
When the market is going gangbusters, it’s time to take advantage of the opportunity, as seen in this Christopher Weyant cartoon. Kowabunga, dudes!
But the truly biting cartoons focus on the ruin that results from unwise investing. Leo Cullum shows what happens when reckless investments crash and burn.
Some well-meaning investors entrust their money to companies whose products and services make the world a better place, or at least not a worse place. But feeling good about one’s investments won’t shield the investor from feeling baffled, even betrayed, when those companies underperform, as William Haefeli observed.
And P.C. Vey has not forgotten how stockbrokers and their ilk experience a plunging market.
Regardless of what the so-called experts say, no one can consistently predict the stock market. The only sure thing is change, which can arrive abruptly, as illustrated in this cartoon with an understated caption by James Stevenson:
Perhaps the most honest analysis is that nobody knows anything, a view expressed by a business reporter in a cartoon by blog co-author Phil Witte.
Back in the day when professionals in the financial world feared regulators, a visit from a certain federal agency could mean the end of a career—or worse. Bob Mankoff’s cartoon, published in 1987, reminds us of those now quaint days.
Each of us experiences the stock market swings in our own way, some with fear and trepidation, others with equanimity. We cannot feel joy all of the time, but it’s the little moments that make investing special. That feeling is expressed perfectly in Mick Stevens’ cartoon.