We’re going to deviate from our usual investing opinions and information to make a comment fairly far afield from those subjects.
First, imagine if you will, worried relatives in the waiting room at the hospital. The doctor returns from the operating room following an exploratory operation and addresses the group.
“We’re doing all we can for your loved one, but I am sorry to tell you… she has fever.” !!! Cue sounds of doom. The relatives look confused. “But what is causing the fever, doctor?” they ask. “We’re not sure yet. We’re still doing tests.”
Silly? Perhaps. But look. The term cancer is just as meaningless. It means unchecked cell division proceeding at various rates of speed – the faster, the more lethal.
The medical profession needs other terms for the condition. It’s not an illness, as we commonly understand it, it is a symptom, a description of what is happening in a body. But there are many facets to this condition.
The multiplying cells can be from any part of the body and progress at quite different rates of speed. We think there are many different causes as well: viruses, stress, bad or broken genetic material.
Each of these causes can come from quite different sources as well – for example, the stress can be mental, physical or emotional. We think each one is a separate illness.
Actually, there is an investment lesson in these observations. You can’t assess a situation if you don’t have the proper and correct vocabulary to describe it.