Back in 1977 Grandad said to me: “You can be a leader or a follower. Leaders know whom to follow at critical points in their lives. But, don’t ever be the wrong leader of followers”.
That requires some careful thought, and much more perspective.
Over the summer of 1988, while teaching me how to first listen and then sell (while also teaching me how to sail in Santa Monica Bay) David Sugarman, my “Jewish mentor” advised me, in that brilliant sepulchural baritone of his: “don’t bother buying a stock you might ever want to sell.”
“Trust in human nature”, he added.
These, strategies (they might be foundational philosophy /1) if you will, then required careful thought, research, informed decision-making and maturity to pull off over a lifetime.
Through the Spring of 1999 I remember the DOW breaking 10,000 for the first time with it’s delicious opportunity to revisit and contemplate David’s words.
Under pressure of very awkward and highly suspect circumstances, the market began it’s dark and ugly descent towards 6000 last year, and I decided to hold firm to Grandad and David’s, always great and evident, wisdom.
Every where I went, the only talk you could hear was about how low the DOW might go. It reminded me of the whole OJ Simpson ordeal. It’s all anyone seemed to want to focus on.
I could easily draw a correlation between the two topics. However, as a Prudent Gentlemen, I don’t see the point as it reduces the advantage, and lessons the potential effects and opportunities now relative to Laws of Natural Selection.
I will, however, offer an example, with the hopes loyal readers of this Blog harken and, perhaps remember when the next test rears itself.
I first listened to, and then observed, a local and hapless friend defy common sense and guidance, as he sold off all of his investments, leveraging both a dirth of intelligence while timing his decision to match, perfectly, mind you, the very bottom of the market. He was firm in his convictions and determined to panic. The chap was convinced the market was going to “crater (a clever and dramatic, albeit meaningless terms financially)”. I had told him there were many reasons – most of them built-in, while others were easily psychological (although both cleverly manipulated) that the market would not go below 6000. You can read more about that here (but, there is more elsewhere), and on this very Blog. Do it!
In any event, he bought into the frantic mooing to be found permeating the internet, and stampeded with so many others, failing to see the buying opportunities, and sold into a crashing market designed to fatten the wallets of the happy minority.
That fellow was a follower. And, he might have actually been a leader of followers (he was a bad example of something, or maybe a good example of a bad thing), to make his plight all the worse.
Today he’ll wring his hands and tell you that his wealth managers “screwed” him, as they misled “everyone (typically this is what thirteen year olds say in the absence of empiric evidence)” regarding their research abilities and understanding of market trends. I’ll wager they had been telling him to sit tight. The storm always abates, and the market always comes back.
Just like the current market will.
Because you can trust human nature (make sure you read that aforementioned post). And, try it from the view of a Heterodox. Consider it a Kobayashi Maru, and literally, an opportunity to Kill that Bear./2
This is an obvious point, but the only people that “lost” money in the stock market are those that panicked and sold into a down market. Conversely, there is new wealth, big money, being created, on paper, by people that have been buying stocks up for the past six months.
I have, and with good reason, cause to make another stand, right here, and say we’ll break back up, and through 12500, by the end of the First Quarter of 2010.
Do some leading research. Maybe you begin with why are the banks really hoarding all that cash?
Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.
Brian Patrick Cork
1/ There is some agreement, therefore, that philosophy is based on method, and is rational, systematic and critical, or characterized by logical argument.
Intrinsic Character: Philosophy can be distinguished from empirical science and religion. The Penguin Encyclopedia says that philosophy differs from science in that its questions cannot be answered empirically, i.e. by observation or experiment, and from religion, in that its purpose is entirely intellectual, and allows no place for faith or revelation.
2/ From the Movie: .