This is a rather rambling post. It ends up asking a question about how to pick stocks. Gender issues in finance and aesthetics are also raised.
Before I began this blog, I spent some time reading blogs by people interested in frugality and personal finance. These piqued my desire to write on the topic myself. But lately I've found some new blogs that I like on the topic of style for women "of a certain age." Two favorites are Une Femme d'un Certain Age and Passage des Perles.
I will now reveal how I happened upon these. I had noticed that Talbots had updated its style. My mother, age 78, has long been a Talbots shopper, but I think that's because she summers in the Berkshires, and the store, with its New England vibe, reminds her of her Boston girlhood. When we would visit the Lenox branch, my mother would shop, while I, age 55, would make an effort to find something halfway decent to try on. My daughter, age 18, would sit in a chair reading In-Style magazine. You can gauge the demographic from this scene.
Last summer I was amazed by the new fall clothing coming in. These were things I might even buy (on sale, of course). Then, in the fall, as my retirement accounts continued their precipitous decline, I thought, I should buy Talbots stock. Now, I don't own any stocks, because--chicken that I am--I always stuck to mutual funds.
The only other stocks I ever wanted to buy were Home Depot (20 years ago!) and Big Lots (about 5 years ago!). I didn't buy either, but should have.
So I googled "Talbots stock" and discovered that the Motley Fool fellows picked it as their Halloween stock--scary, scary, scary. The price was about $1.80/share the day I started thinking about this.
Then I googled "Talbots new style" and discovered Une Femme and, through that blog, Passage des Perles. Une Femme d'un Certain Age, especially, admired the newly chic style brought in by the new president of Talbots.
The Motleys are, needless to say, men. The bloggers are women. The stock is now $3.06, a rather impressive percentage rise in a few months, especially given the economic news and the further precipitous declines of nationwide retail sales and my retirement accounts.
I bought some items yesterday, since I got a further 20% off the sale prices and free shipping. I don't know how any of these will look, but I can always return to the store in the next town. What do you think of my choices?
So Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury: do you think Talbots has a future? Would you buy the stock? Do the chic women bloggers know something that the investment professionals do not? Did I make the mistake of buying the sweaters rather than the stock?