Someone sent this to me the other day:
Once upon a time in a village, a man appeared and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each. The villagers seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest, and started catching them.
The man bought thousands at $10 and as the supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort. He then announced that he would now buy at $20. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again.
Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms. The offer increased to $25 each and the supply of monkeys became so little that it was an effort to even see a monkey, let alone catch it!
The man then announced that he had to go to the city on business and when he returned, he would buy monkeys for $50 each.
He left his assistant in charge and departed for the city.
In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers, "Look at all these monkeys the man has collected and put in the big cage. I will sell them to you at $35 each and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each."
The villagers rounded up all their savings and bought all the monkeys.
They never saw the man or his assistant again, only monkeys everywhere!
Now you have a better understanding of how the stock market works!
Actually, if you're willing to spend a few hours time reading something serious that tries to understand what's going on, the Economist has a special report for you.