The ghost of investor Christmas past, present and future

Ezer Rooge is an investor, and one Christmas Eve he was visited by three ghosts. He didn’t care about past and present. “I want to see the ghost of Christmas future,” he said.

Article updated: 24 December 2019 10:00am Author: Michael Baxter

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It was Christmas Eve 1999, the dotcom boom was in full flight.

“Who is that?” said Ezer.

“That’s you 20 years ago, Christmas Eve 1999.”

“Can I speak to myself?” asked Ezer. You can replied the ghost, but only for a few minutes.

Ezer, thought for a moment. I am going to tell myself to sell everything on the 30th, because that’s when the FTSE 100 peaks at 6,930. Then buy Apple and Amazon at the end of 2001, short Northern Rock in the summer of 2007, short oil and all banks in the summer of 2008, and buy gold and then to buy more of Apple and Amazon, Google, Netflix and Nvidia. This is great, I am going to be rich.”

Alas, when his younger self saw the older Ezer, he became terrified and hysterical. To calm him down, the older Ezer told him a story. “In the future, he said, we will take more photographs and videos than ever before. PCs will lose popularity. Instead we ...” the air went blurry. And Ezer was whisked away.

“What was that about? Screamed Ezer, furious with the ghost for not giving him more time.

The ghost was gone. Instead a new voice said: “I am the ghost of Christmas present. We are going to meet yourself in the present day.”

“But I already know about that, replied Ezer.”

“Not any more, you changed the future, now you are meeting the Ezer you helped create 20-years ago.

But they couldn’t find the present day Ezer, his house was occupied by a family of European migrants.

They asked around, until eventually they found present day Ezer sleeping rough. “What happened to you?” said the original Ezer. The crestfallen Ezer looked up. There was sadness and dejection in his eyes, but also something else. It was anger. “I followed your advice, you said PC sales would fall and more photographs would be taken, so I sold Apple and put all my money in Kodak. I was a fool, I didn’t diversify and I listened to a fairy tale.”

Just then the air went blurry and Ezer was whisked away. “Where are we going now?” asked Ezer.

“We are going to Christmas Eve” 2039, said a new voice, the ghost of Christmas future.

First they went to Ezer’s old house. It was boarded up. They asked the locals what had happened to the family of migrants.

“Have you been living on Mars?” asked one disheveled old man. All European migrants fled after Brexit.

“I want to see the news,” said Ezer, let’s find a TV. “You don’t need a TV, said the ghost. Put these glasses on, and say news.

That’s what Ezer did. In his glasses a picture appeared and a man and women sat behind a desk. “Citizens, citizens, said the women, wonderful news.” The man continued, “our beloved Prime Minister has just revealed that we are set to enjoy the most prosperous Christmas ever.

“But everything looks so run down,” said Ezer.

“Oh I wouldn’t listen to the news said the ghost. The government always lies, but ever since they got rid of the BBC all media have shifted towards the right and agreed with everything the government said. And of course, everthing looks run down, as the population aged, the economy became less dynamic, and the flood of immigrants returning home, meant there weren’t enough workers to meet the needs of the older population.

“So what shares have done well?” since 2019. asked Ezer.

A screen appeared inside his glasses. Apple had done well, selling augmented reality glasses and contact lenses, with AI assistants.

Nvidia did well, because its technology enabled an AI revolution.

Google/Alphabet did well.

Facebook, it turned out, became nationalised, making way for something called ‘the social credit system.’

Tesla boomed, it no longer sold cars, instead it dominated the market for energy storage.

All the car companies went bust, instead car sharing took over and all cars looked the same. Aramco had gone bust too.

Just then, the screen in his glasses showed a preview of a new movie. Star Wars Episode XX. “It’s a dark time for the galaxy but can the Jedi Knights, led by Thor, the Hulk and Spider-Man win victory for the forces of hope?”

It turned out that Disney had become the biggest company in the world.

“But who are you, really?” asked Ezer. The ghost replied “I am your AI assistant in virtual reality. Take this blue pill’ said the assistant. “Because we have been in virtual reality, all this time.”


These views are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the view of The Share Centre, its officers and employees

Michael Baxter portrait photo
Michael Baxter

Economics Commentator

Michael is an economics, investment and technology writer, known for his entertaining style. He has previously been a full-time investor, founder of a technology company which was floated on the NASDAQ, and a director of a PR company specialising in IT.

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