There you go, fill in the blank. Pundits will be out in force this week. Our philosophy is that whenever the stock market reaches the front page of the newspaper is the time to … Not Do a Darn Thing!
Bigger forces than we, as individual investors, are, are out in the field right now. Big and frequent trades can grind up the little guy trying to catch the wave.
Have you ever gone surfing off the coast of California? We have and can say, authoritatively, that if you don’t know what you are doing or how to deal with a big wave that has just broken over your head, you are in big trouble.
We’ll never forget our first time inside a wave that had just broken. We thought we were goners. In addition to the huge, powerful breaking wave that was over our heads, we were concerned about the undertow.
Fortunately, someone had clued us in – probably our cousin who had been in Calif longer than we had. Here’s what you do – you hold your breath, sink or swim down beneath the turmoil, and let the wave carry you to shore, which is where it is going whether you want to go there or not.
We had successfully avoided being caught in the wave for the first few breakers, outrunning and outswimming the surges. But eventually a wave broke right over us. As we doubtfully put the save-yourself theory into practice, we realized we were completely powerless inside the powerful, disorderly ocean force.
We sank below that chaos and the water became curiously still. We raised our hand above our head, felt the chaotic motion above, and had a mental image of a dividing line – disorderly above, calm below.
In a moment, the two opposites subsided and merged and threw us onto the beach shingle. Shakily, we stood up, relieved, proud we had survived, and determined never to do it again. The nightmare was over.