There's a great episode of The Simpsons in which Homer decides to buy up pumpkins in the run up to Halloween, hoping to cash in on the inevitable spike in demand. At first, the value of his pumpkins starts to rise, but in his greed, he thinks he can make more money by holding onto them even longer, past Halloween. If you haven't seen the episode, you can probably imagine how it ends. Homer's experience has been shared by one Canadian who snapped up a pair of PS3s right after their initial release, hoping to profit from last-minute Christmas shoppers desperate to buy a box on eBay. Initially, it looked like the plan could work. As we noted here, PS3s did indeed go for nosebleed prices on eBay, at least initially. But as Christmas drew closer, the price started to level out -- the last minute surge in demand never materialized, and the speculators lost out. The speculator in this story could've made a tidy profit if he'd just flipped his boxes as soon as he got home, but his psychology was very reminiscent of traders during the last market bubble. They couldn't bear the thought of selling too early and then missing out on future profits. And as prices started to decline, they couldn't bring themselves to sell, knowing they could have gotten much more just a few days earlier. As for the two boxes he bought, they remain unopened in his closet, and unlike stocks, he can't even sell them at a loss to go against his taxes.
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