life should come with four warnings
This post doesn't contain a whole lot of investment information, just a thought that came to me as I sat down to ponder investments this evening...
Sitting down with a glass of icewater and lemon juice mixed, in front of my laptop, with a game of the free Windows chess game on the side to check stock futures, maybe run a screen or two, probably ponder a few of my holdings and if its time to sell them. Maybe make something for my son to eat in the morning and set it out for him, or in the fridge or whatever.
And this evening, sitting down for this normal routine, it occurs to me that... that it may be that I've already experienced my best year as an investor, I've already experienced the best buying opportunities, largest returns in such a short time. Maybe my single most glorious day as an investor will be the day Nova Chemical got bought out. Maybe the single best and most profitable idea I'll come up with is my bet on insurance companies and BDCs almost exactly a year ago.
Maybe, and think about this, maybe I already have 51+% of the 10-baggers I'll ever have! Count 'em: GNW, BZ, GGP (30 bagger, maybe no other stock I ever buy will be a 30 bagger), ACAS (if you throw in the divi its a 10 bagger from my cheapest shares), MCGC is getting close, ASH is glose, XL is spitting distance, ODP, CEM, TCK, LVS, calls on MGM, calls on TCK, MNI, ... several more including HIG and LNC have a shot. So I have a dozen 10 baggers. Will I have 20 in my career?
What if that was it? The best it'll ever be, the best I'll ever do?
That's a sad thought in a way. Its comforting to look to the future and hope that it'll be better, brighter, richer, better ideas, better friends, prettier girlfriends, better pubs. Onward and upward is how i've always viewed life. Half my life I've hardly even bothered with the moment, always working on a better moment. The other half I've sat down and soaked it up a little bit. But as that life winds along, and I roll out of youth and into my mid 30's, I am starting to wonder if maybe a whole lot of high water marks are behind me, and wondering what ones lie ahead. For the first 20 years of my life (we may just as well count the beginning of life as the onset of puberty, the stuff before is ... is lived by a different person and doesn't really count).
I was struck tonight by the thought of... what if I've already kissed the prettiest girl I'll ever kiss? What if I've already had the best drunk? Thrown my best party? What if I've already met the best friends I'll know? What if my greatest thrill behind the wheel of a car is behind me? I'll probably never run from the cops again, as I basically don't break the law significantly anymore, lol. What if I never have the same kind of ultra-focused 5 day work bender, napping a couple hours at a time, living on caffeine and nicotine, inching towards an answer? What if my best inventions are in the past? What if I make a better one, but it isn't as thrilling because I don't need to make it anymore?
And I wished, sitting here, that life came with four simple warnings.
The first warning would be to let you know that you're basically at the low water mark of your life. So that you'd know it owuld get better from here. That would help a great many kids through the trying times of jr hi...
The second would be to let you know that you're coming into the time of your life. That would prevent millions of college kids from whining and worrying and fretting and stressing over things like "how do I look tonight" when the truth is none of us are going to look as good as we did then again. It would help us shut up and enjoy it.
The third warning would be to let you know that your stock is about to peak, or has peaked and is about to crash. A gentle nudge to remind us that we won't be as energetic or faced with as many opportunities as we are now forever.
And the fourth warning, of course, would be a year before we die so we could walk away from the madhouse of life and just spend the time talking to our kids, or even just watching them and remembering them. And girlfriends and chums and failures and successes. Just reflect on it all in that time.
Life, of course, comes with no such warnings. So the best we can hope for is just the occasional glimpse at the fact that we are probably in the middle of something special, and the capacity to realize what that is and actually sit back and take it in.
So, checklist raises his glass of lemon water and offers a toast to Ashland Chemical at $5.xx and no realistic chance of violating its debt covenants. If I ever see that again may I bask in the glory of the opportunity thats at hand... and not fear the chaos in the markets.
that is all.