How (And Why) to Talk About Stocks at the Dinner Table

Have you ever been exploring the stock market (perhaps our latest list of undervalued stock recommendations), felt like you had a great nugget to share, and found yourself on the opposite end of blank stares when you brought it up at the dinner table?

We’ve all been there – excited about something not that exciting to others.  Here are some suggestions on why you should keep pushing a bit of stock talk at social gatherings, and how to keep it light and interesting.

Why Stock Talk at Dinner Isn’t So Bad

Personally I think talking about finance and the economy is a useful part of social conversation – we all are impacted by good or bad economies, so we should all be interested in know what’s up (especially those of us not interested in researching and reading about it all day).

If you have children, sharing easy-to-digest facts and stock news can be a great way to get them excited about their financial future and also give them an idea of how the world works.

If you’re dining with a spouse or peers, you can also get some feedback on your current research, ideas, and thinking.  (Just careful with spouses not to steer yourself right into a budgeting argument!)

How to Bring Up Stocks in an Interesting Way

Here’s 3 prompts to help you come up with some language to help you phrase your stock conversation starters in an interesting way.

How do I explain this to someone who might not know ANYTHING about this company/industry?  Unless you know for sure, assume little to no knowledge (and nobody goes to dinner hoping for an industry/sector lesson).

What part of this stock/industry/sector has universal appeal to the broad public?  Make the conversation so interesting your fellow diners will want to pass the conversation on in their next thoughtful interaction.

How can I end this with a prompt or conversation starter?  Ending with a question is the social thing to do (preferably an open-ended one, not a yes/no question) – for example, if you’re sharing a find with a software company, your question could be “Are there any software companies you admire?”  or “What do you think the software industry will look like in 15 years?”.

Avoid diving into a lot of numbers unless you know your crowd will be into that.  And even if they are, don’t you think the above two questions are just as insightful than penciling out PEG ratios on a napkin?

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Written by Andy Hayes

is a lifestyle expert and runs his own online magazine, Plum Deluxe. Andy is based in Portland, Oregon.

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