"A relationship, I think, is like a shark, you know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark." - Woody Allen, 1935-, American Director, Screenwriter, Actor, Comedian
We are going to end of the Year with something new, it's a series that we have decided to title "random Musings" and it will be a collection of thoughts, observations and patterns and their relation or impact on our daily lives. Off course whenever possible we will attempt to tie them in to the financial markets.
Affinity for negativity
We will examine this topic very briefly because it does play an important role in investing. Individuals as a rule seem far more inclined to listen to and act on negative information rather than on positive info. Don't believe me; allow me to illustrate this point to you.
We have 4 glasses of water on the table. Someone states that the water in one of the glasses came from a Jug that had a dead fly in it. Now mind you, you don't even know this person, yet immediately almost everyone would walk away from those glasses, even if they were dying of thirst. Almost no one would try to verify if this information was indeed true.
Now someone comes to you and states, hey one of those glasses contains water from the purest spring in the Swiss Alps. I am almost sure that no one would rush to drink all 4 glasses in an attempt to secure the purest water.
Take it a step further. We have gloom doom arguments on how the financial world is going to end and immediately our ears perk up. Yet let someone come up with an argument stating that everything is fine and we don't want to listen or at most we will only listen with one ear.
How about market crashes. Gurus coming out stating that the market is going to crash and burn and the masses panic and start buying puts and dumping their quality shares. Yet if someone comes and states that the market is going to rise, they don't pay attention to the person. (Off course it can work the other way to, depending on the current sentiment and perception of the crowds)
This what we experienced when we publicly stated that we expected the Dow to rise to over 10,500 last year, when it was still under 9k. No one wanted to hear anything new and so after our article debuted on financial sense and gold eagle we were flooded with emails stating that we had lost our minds. I remember that I was in a humorous mood at that time so I answered some of the emails with the following line. It takes one to know one.
Life was, is and never will be fair. Life is what you make of it. So don't fret about things you cannot control, instead look for ways to take advantage of these situations. You have only one option; instead of trying to be a Good Samaritan and finding an early grave, just simply find out what the long-term trend is and follow it. With or without manipulation there is always a trend and if you stay with the trend you have nothing to worry about.
Random musings on Experts.
Everybody loves to use the word expert all the time to claim they know something extra or have knowledge of the inner workings in a specific field or area. Now if you want to turn the tables around on them all you have to say is the following. But first repeat the word expert slowly and then spell it like it sounds and viola you get EX SPURT. Which basically means that this expert is nothing but spurt that never was, in other words they are finished even before they have even begun. Isn't it strange that most so called financials experts fall into the EX SPURT category. We use words to secretly define what we know to be true but refuse to believe or see with our open eyes. To live in an illusion is far easier than to step out and deal with reality. It's said that reality bites but then we could say illusions swallow. In reality there is no such thing as an expert, because who are you measuring yourself. Anyone can be expert if they measure themselves against the ignorant and blind. There are only advanced market students or advanced life students. We can never stop learning for when we do, senility is very close at hand.
The secret programmed desire to lose Syndrome Part 1
So far we have looked at the laws of paradoxes, then we expanded on these laws and now we will slowly start to look at the secret programmed desire to lose Syndrome.
From the day we are born we are inundated with information, most of it is nothing but a mismatch of cultural values, religious values and what is perceived to be the norm during that time period. For the most part 80% or more of this information is truly biased and untested in terms of science and logic. What we mean is that we are told to believe things on the basis of "well that's what our family did for generations and that's how things have always been".
As time goes by we are told how we should behave, how we should eat, what we should eat, who our friends should be, what type of career to aim for, what is socially acceptable and what is not, around what age we should look to settle down and what type of woman or Man would we should chose to settle down with. We are also taught that working for the group or community at large is the right thing to do and that being Selfish is very bad.
We are taught that we should dedicate our lives to one person and actually promise that we will do this, even though we have a very hard time just keeping our new years resolutions. We are not told that instead of saying I promise, we should instead say I will try my very best, but being weak and human it is possible that I might fail along the line. This promise in most cases is guaranteed to achieve the exact opposite result and if one looks at the statistics, the evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of this. It's this fear of trying to live up to an ideal that most of us know that we cannot live up to that actually ends up in causing the relationship to end. The most successful relationships are those ones in which a whole different approach has been taken; the key to their success is that in general the individuals involved are happy with themselves and are not looking to find happiness in another but simply enhance it.
Today we will just dip into these topics and explore each one in more detail along the line. Just remember we are not telling you what to do, or that we are right or that we know it all. All we are doing is sharing our opinion and we are willing to admit in advance that we could be wrong and if proven to be wrong we will readily admit to our wrongdoings. Life is not about trying to prove you are the best, but simply a quest for new information and looking at old information with a new set of eyes.
Lets start of by looking at the working for the benefit group principle and how being selfish is supposed to be bad.
One big flaw with this principle is that how could you possibly know what's good for the group if you have no idea of what's good for you. So now blindly you try to work for the benefit of the group and since we have millions of misguided individuals working under a misguided premise, it's a mega recipe for disaster. That is why we have so many depressed people, lost people, people who feel like they have no purpose in life etc.
This somehow blends with the paradox principle, in order to succeed the law of paradoxes states that you must be ready and willing to embrace your failures. So taking this one step further, in order to share you must be willing to understand and embrace the principle of selfishness. In order to work for the group you must be ready and willing to work for the benefit of yourself and the list goes on.
So what we should be taught is that first we should look out for our self-interests and when we are okay we should take that knowledge and share it with others. That being selfish in moderation is not only good but also a vital necessity to our survival. For if one does not care about one's health or wealth, how could they care about the health or wealth of the group.
We suggest you read the book called "the virtue of selfishness" by Ann Rand.
Our final musing will be on the following topic:
The necessity of losing and why it makes sense and cents.
Imagine for a second that you got up and from this day hence forward you just kept winning every time you played the markets. Sooner then later wining would become boring, because you would not have anything to compare your wins to. The reason a win feels so good is because you compare it to a point in time when you lost something. Not only do you bask in the new felt emotion (because you remember the pain of losing, but you also feel incredibly great because of the financial windfall from that win). What we are trying to state here is that losing or failing is an important and integral part of winning and success and that without the other life would be drab and dry.
However what happens over time is that most individuals seem to think that they can do nothing but fail or lose. The way to stop this evil process is to immediately understand the purpose of losing and failing. When you lose or fail it means you have done something wrong, you are being given a second chance to evaluate where you might have strayed or erred. Most of us instead just keep doing the same thing that made us experience our first loss and we hope that sooner or later we will hit the mother load by luck. If we examine the reason we lost or failed we see exactly what it was that caused us to fall of the tracks and even if we don't succeed on the next attempt we will at least make sure that we never ever repeat the same mistake again. Through constant analysis of our mistakes we can finally develop a system or systems that can with patience and persistence help us win in the markets and more importantly help us with the most important battle in our lives, the quest to find happiness which is really nothing other than then quest to find inner peace. Remember this to, nothing good ever comes easy, if it did it was not worth it in the first place.
"Imagination was given man to compensate for what he is not, and a sense of humor to console him for what he is." - Francis Bacon, 1561-1626, British Philosopher, Essayist, Statesman