Wednesday, June 08, 2005

On Malik's Broadband Blog : Is there a Poker Bubble?

No, there is not a poker bubble. There is a bubble of baby boomers at peak earning ages, peak spending ages and peak savings ages.

Baby boomers are buying second homes and every one talks about the housing boom. Baby boomers are socking away funds into 401-K's and ironically driving down the reported savings rate. Within the 401-K's baby boomers are buying balanced mutual funds that hold long-term bonds. Baby boomers are helping to drive down long-term rates; they are helping create the Greenspan conundrum.

Baby boomers, as empty nesters, have leisure time. They are eating out and traveling. A friend of mine has been playing poker out west all week. He played practice rounds for a few days and has played in one of three high dollar tournaments so far. He outlasted 600 players before he went all-in on a set of 5's and was beaten by a set of 9's (three 5's versus three 9's). He is pumped. A few years ago, how many successful lawyers took off a couple of weeks to play cards? Again, peak earnings, empty nest, and leisure time--had you rather read daily whiners worrying over bubbles or spend time enjoying life?

When you read about the next bubble, just remember there are 76 million boomers in America between the ages of 46 and 59. The bubbles may last a while!