Came up with this today while I was taking a test in my investments class… heh... I'm a nerd, sorry... I don't know I might be the only one who really finds this amusing...
Roy glanced up from the newspaper he was reading when he heard a knock on the door. "Come," he said. A moment later the door opened, and he grinned when he saw who it was. It seemed his afternoon might not be as boring as he thought.
"Don't!" Ed said, pointing a finger at him.
Roy chuckled, "Don't what?"
"You were going to say something that only you would think was funny."
"Not true," Roy said mildly as he leaned comfortably back in his chair.
"Oh..." Ed said more calmly, and lowered his hand. "I thought you were going to say... well..."
Roy knew the nice thing to do would be to let it lie, but he couldn't. "Many other people enjoy my joke at your expense, Fullmetal."
To this, Ed glared at him, then growled, "Shut up!" Turning around, Ed reached for the door. "I can't believe I even thought I could talk seriously with you!"
Roy smirked. "What did you have in mind?"
Ed glanced back over his shoulder and said, "I need to make some money and I thought maybe you could give me some ideas, but never mind!"
"I'll pay you five cens to sign all my papers," Roy said, laughing. Ed frowned in angry silence for a moment, and Roy decided that he should at least tell the kid something. Still chuckling, Roy beckoned to the young alchemist. "Alright, look... I do know some things, but it's mostly about playing the market and the like. You already need to have money to do most of it."
Ed glanced thoughtfully down at the floor for a moment, then said, "Well, tell me anyway. Maybe I could still make it work..."
Roy shrugged. "Anything is possible, you could always get a margin loan(1), though I doubt anyone would loan to you because of your age."
Ed frowned and said, "Well, I do have a little money..."
"And I'm a state alchemist, so age shouldn't matter right?"
"Ed!" Roy said firmly. When Ed finally quieted, Roy said, "I really don't think anything I have to say is going to help you. It all involves buying bonds and stocks and it really gets quite complicated."
"But can't you make a lot of money in the stock market?" Ed asked hopefully.
"Yes, but there's a lot of risk. Most of the time you're in it for the long haul. You buy something and hold onto it for an extended period of time."
"Isn't there any other way?"
Roy sighed. "Yes, but there is also a lot more risk involved." He paused and looked at Ed's serious face before continuing. "For example. Sometimes you can borrow stocks and sell them, hoping the price will go down, then re-buy them at the lower price and return them. You're basically picking a company and betting it will go down in value."
Ed seemed to think that over for a moment, then said, "I dunno, that seems like a pretty good idea to me. I bet I could do that."
To this, Roy smirked and said, "I'm sure you could... that would be perfect for you..."
Ed glared at him and asked suspiciously, "Why...?"
"Because, that type of investing is called selling short."
Ed opened his mouth angrily, then closed it again. "I think I would prefer regular stocks..." he said tightly, and Roy's grin widened even more. He'd thought Ed would stomp off and the fun would end there, but it seemed he was wrong. Wondering how much more it would take to make Ed lose his cool, Roy continued.
"Alright, regular stocks... Well, there are different types of stocks, you know. There are blue-chip stocks(2) and income stocks(3) and several others, but what I think you'd be most interested in is growth stocks(4).
"Forget stocks!" Ed yelled. "Tell me about something else!"
"Well... there is the futures market...(5)" Roy chuckled. "Though being on the selling end would be best for you, given that it's called the 'short position'."
"No futures either!"
Laughing outright now, Roy said, "Alright, alright, what you need is some sort of short-term investment...(6)" Ed opened his mouth, but Roy overrode him. "Or you know... you could always go with long-term. That would fit you too seeing as how they take a long time to mature."
"You bastard!" Ed growled. "You know what? Forget it! I'm sorry I even asked!"
Laughing, and thoroughly enjoying himself now, Roy shrugged, and said, "You could always invest in what I do."
"And what's that?" Ed asked petulantly.
Ed blinked and Roy watched as the boy whispered that to himself a couple of times. Finally his eyes went wide and he turned and stalked to the door. Glancing back, Ed growled, "You are a sick man, colonel" before stomping out the door.
1 – basically borrowing money to invest.
2 – basically high quality stocks that have a history of stable earnings and dividends.
3 – stocks with a record of paying higher-than-average dividends.
4 – stocks that have high rates of growth in operations and earnings.
5- the organized market for trading futures contracts. – a futures contract is basically a commitment to deliver a certain amount of some specified item at a some specified date in the future.
6 – an investment that typically matures in about 1 year.
7 – zero-coupon bonds created from U.S. treasury securities (obviously there is no U.S. in FMA, but let's just ignore that… haha)