A Foolish Interview with bjdArch Add to My Favorite Fools Add to My Penalty Box

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The Fool: Briefly explain how you select stocks.
bjdArch: I'm a sucker for argyles.
The Fool: What has been your best work experience, and what made it so great?
bjdArch: I used to take the subway to work, and somehow, riding the train with hundreds of other working men and women made me feel like I was part of some huge force, like a (uh, I dunno) WORKforce, and that somehow we were all participating in a solemn ritual of commerce. It was very exhilarating.

Late one evening, after enjoying a few beers with some colleagues (I believe it was St. Patrick's Day), I was riding home on an almost empty train, feeling a bit blurry. The only other passengers were a frivolous couple making no attempt to conceal their affection, and a pale, middle-aged man, standing. Eventually, the couple disembarked, and the pale man moved slowly over to the seats they had vacated, pulled a tissue out of his pocket and began meticulously to wipe down the seats. He then surreptitiously dropped the tissue to the floor and sat down in the seats. Never mind that there were 60 other empty seats, and that the man had been standing for 15 minutes. As the doors opened at the next stop, he stood and furtively nudged the crumpled tissue out the door with his foot. He sat back down, apparently satisfied that the train was now in suitable condition.

These days my wife drops me off on her way to work and the number of unexpected encounters in my life has been greatly reduced.
The Fool: What other financial products or services do you use?
bjdArch: I have a mortgage and a checking account, but rarely at the same time.
The Fool: If you had to pick an existing song title that best describes your life, what would it be?
bjdArch: "Road Movie to Berlin" by They Might Be Giants
"The Christmas Song" by Mel Torme and Bob Wells
The Fool: Tell us about Your Dumbest Investment... and the lesson you learned from it.
bjdArch: I once bought a pair of 100% cotton pants. The first five minutes I wore them, I spilled coffee on them. So I threw them in the wash and they came out unrecognizable. That is the last time I buy a washing machine...
The Fool: When you aren't working or sitting in front of the computer, what occupies your time?
bjdArch: Hootin' and hollerin'. I'm a big hooter.
The Fool: If you could be the CEO of any public company, which one and why?
bjdArch: Victoria's Secret, because I have a wife, two daughters and three sisters, and they're going to need underwear. So I figure this company's got to have some kind of employee discount, and that could save a few bucks. I don't necessarily see myself on the sales floor, so I'm thinking, why not just be CEO. How tough could it be? It's just underwear.
The Fool: Which celebrity or public figure (past or present) do you most look like?
bjdArch: A balding Howdy Doody if he had brown hair instead of red.
The Fool: Does ethics or 'socially responsible investing' have a place in your investment approach? How so? How not?
bjdArch: Attempting to ensure that I do not become a destitute vagrant and burden to society upon my retirement seems to me to be socially responsible.

Aside from that, I think the earth is a pretty cool place and I dislike companies that screw it up.
The Fool: Share with us your best money-saving secret -- cutting coupons, sneaking candy into the movies, shopping on Wednesday and pretending you're over 65?
bjdArch: I still have a rotary phone because the sevice rates are lower each month than for a push button. Until recently we also had a party line, which became less practical when our neighbors got a fax machine.

Employee discounts at Victoria's Secret.
The Fool: What's the strangest thing you've ever seen?
bjdArch: I was walking to work one morning, around 7:30 and took a shortcut through a small park where I passed a clown (I mean a clown: red nose, funny shoes, puffy clothes), sitting on a wall with his chin in his hand, smoking a cigarette and looking irritated. Maybe strange is the wrong word, but at 7:30 in the morning, a forlorn, smoking clown was a little unexpected. I still think about that clown and wonder...
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