Boneheaded Y2K marketing : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

In todays paper there was an ad with the headline "Just 15 months until Y2K: Are you ready financially for Y2K and beyond?" The text basically said they have a spreadsheet program and piechart capability, and will advise you about your financial situation. What do you want to bet they will tell you which mutual funds to buy, and no mention will ever be made of stockpiling food, water, and cash for 1-1-00? Under a picture of a happy family was the caption "Dont worry, be happy!!!"

-- A. Social (don', September 30, 1998


Here's a similar ad my wife saw in one of her medical journals:

In large, boldface type at the top: "You have more important things to worry about than Y2K!!" In smaller type, the body of the ad: "Your subscription is about to run out!" Then it gives the terms for renewal and, at the end, once you've renewed and gotten peace of mind, "Now you can get back to that pesky Y2K thing".

If only this were a dream.

-- Steve Hartsman (, September 30, 1998.

these are real examples of y2k hype... and they will only make it more difficult for the real experts and professionals to be taken seriously. We aren't going to make it, are we? Have faith in the spirit and cherish every moment. We are in for a wild ri

-- Michael Taylor (, September 30, 1998.

Cleveland Plain Dealer article:

Millenium,Economy Feed gold Fever

Sub head: "two months ago, gold was at its lowest price in 20 years; now there's a near-craze in buying locally and nationwide"

URL to follow:

Article text of online version, which is set up without subheads:

Millennium, economy feed gold fever

Wednesday, September 30, 1998


Jim Irwin can't help laughing when talking to some of his customers at Shaker Coin Stamp & Jewelry.

As the stock market has become increasingly volatile and the Year 2000 draws nearer, Irwin has seen sales of gold coins soar.

"They think Armageddon is coming," Irwin said. "My wife and I always think they're crazy. Now we're not so sure."

Well, maybe not Armageddon, but something sure is feeding gold fever: The gold market two months ago saw its lowest prices in nearly 20 years. Investors have stomached double-digit losses in their stock portfolios.

And then there's the Year 2000 issue, which some doomsdayers think could turn financial accounts into vapor.

Coin dealers locally and nationwide report a near craze in gold buying. First-time customers. Long-time customers. Rich. Middle- class. Mattress-stuffers. Gen X computer whizzes.

"Some people are in disaster mode," agreed Val Holmes, partner at Carat Coin Collectibles in North Olmsted.

"It's partly because of the recent stock market drop," Holmes said. "Some people lost 10 to 20 percent of their money in a couple of weeks. They got a little scared, and now people want to put money into a sure thing."

While gold investments might not produce the highest returns, the phrase "as good as gold" came from somewhere. Gold is probably the world's oldest currency, it is easily exchanged nearly anywhere across the globe, and it will always spend.

Financial advisers often urge investors to have 10 percent of their portfolio in gold.

Bryan Kissling, senior vice president at Everen Securities Inc. in Westlake, agreed it's good to have 5 percent to 10 percent of holdings in a commodity such as gold "to hedge yourself against rampant inflation or some extreme financial crisis." But he said he'd personally recommend energy stocks, which have performed better than gold.

People who bought gold coins 15 years ago have lost at least 20 percent, he said.

Besides, buyers of gold coins don't earn dividends, and buyers have to pay varying commissions. And financial turmoil at all corners of the world increase the possibility that countries such as Russia could sell their reserves, flooding the market to either lower values or hold them in check, Kissling said.

Liquidity and dividends actually make gold stocks more attractive investments, he added.

Still, demand for America's gold coins, the Eagle, is so high that employees at the U.S. Treasury minting facility at West Point, N.Y., are working overtime and weekends.

Bill Miloher of Executive Coin Co. in Stow, northeast of Akron, said his sales of gold coins have increased tenfold in the last six months. "Some people buy one at a time, some ten a time, one guy just bought $300,000 worth," he said. He doesn't look for sales to slow until prices reach at least $400 an ounce, compared with the current price hovering around $300.

Irwin at Shaker Coin expects sales will remain brisk as the new millennium approaches.

"Gold and silver and platinum are very emotional," Irwin said. "When people start losing faith in our government, they start buying precious metals.

"Now with the Year 2000 glitches coming, people are nervous. They're afraid their accounts will be wiped out. If they've got their gold, they feel better."

)1998 THE PLAIN DEALER. Used with permission.

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-- Chuck a Night Driver (, October 01, 1998.

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