Look... the world is ALWAYS ending
I have come to the conclusion that if one is to participate in the markets, you will be exposed to wild end-of-days theories and discussions on a daily basis. It will simply be a part of your life. As I have thought about it more and more for the last couple of weeks since a friend told me she thought I got moody when I read stock stuf, two good things have happened. First, something or other inspired me to go back and read my best blogs (probably ever) if by "best" you mean "ones you and others could have made the most money on", which reminded me how caustic, arrogant and irritating the bears were in early 2009, how stunningly wrong they were, and how not one of them has ever posted a thread like "how we got it all wrong" or "sorry if i scared you out of the markets just before a 100% rally". Just more anger and ABSOLUTE statements, usually about Ben Bernanke, who is at fault, for all things. Including people rebelling against dictators and the price of a champagne bottle at XS nightclub. And the fact that their neighbor has a nicer lawn. And for spoiling their milk and leaving the water running while they were at work. Alot of other stuff too.
And anyway, I would like to observe that over my fairly short lifetime, the world has, without any doubt, for absolute positive sure, been ending. And I don't mean maybe, it was FOR SURE ending, SOON. Life as I know it has ALWAYS been about to end, FOR SURE, and there have always been teeming mobs of mindless masses repeating the same story and yelling and yapping (i.e., "chanting" as I said in my "cult of negativity" thread), and rarely thinking things over or forming their own opinion.
You don't believe me? You think today is really different, there are FOR SURESIES real problems today? Here is a list of just what comes to mind as I think my life over chronologically.
I don't remember it, but lil check, all toddling around and pooping in diapers, was born into a time of inflation, on a bitter winter day in the mid 70s. I have read a few blogs that say "well in the 70s we survived inflation because we were the dominatn power in the world, today we are a third world country". I absolutely promise you that if you'd have read stock blogs, if they had existed, in the late 70s you'd not have read about how dominant we were. You'd have heard tales of the Soviet militaries supremacy and how Japan was going to take us over... The inflation got under control eventually and we launched, anew, into a period of epic prosperity.
Remember whne we were "turning japanese" as the song says? Remember when japan was going to own all of the USA?
Remember when we were no match for the soviets and our planes and tanks didn't have a shot against theirs?
Remember Black Monday?
I remember, as a soph in high school, being told that I would be drafted in two years. People panickingand yapping, "another vietnam", "gas rations", "endn of days".
Remember when the "Asian Tigers" were going to take over the world?
I remember hearing ont he news my father watched that like, 50 banks went broke in the early 90s, and it was quite a huge panic. Oh, no, wait, that was FIVE THOUSAND. I remember posting that fact, saying, "folks, we've done this before..." in early 2009 and being told I was an idiot, its different this time, this time, FOR REALS, the world is ending.
Remember in ten years that China was goign to take over the world, please.
Remember in early 2009 when ALL of the remaining banks were going to be nationalized? The S&P was going to 500?
Remember in april 2009 when everybody who was long was an idiot and it was just a suckers rally?
Beyond just finance and geopolitical stuff...
Remember in 20 years that we were all going to die of global warming, soon, end of days, no tomorrow, no more snow on kilamanjaro. Al Gore said so, and he was desperate for attention, so he had to be right.
Remember in 20 that we were going to have an end of society due to peak oil.
But, no... remember this: when i was EIGHT, in the early/mid 80s, MORE THAN 25 YEARS AGO... we learned in school that by the year 2000-2010 we would be out of oil and driving would be over as we knew it, and that manhattan and LA would be underwater. THESE CULTISH NEGATIVISTS CAN'T EVEN COME UP WITH NEW MATERIAL!
Beyond that, remember when it was frequently in the news that EVERY scientist agreed that global warming would end the world... soon? I got po'd at a liberal friend and emailed like 20 climatologists from various universities. I got some quite kind responses ranging from agreement to skepticism to outright refute of the concept.
I remember as a kid being told I was getting an education far worse than those japanese and european kids and I would, soon, be obselete and unable to compete. Who invented everything tech again and launched the world into a 20 year run of prosperity? Some japanese kids in a garage, right? It wasn't two american kids in a garage... that never happened.
My short life has seen what? 5, 6, 7 recessions? The world was ending each time, I promise.
Here is my point: there is a certain element of society that just isn't happy unless its mad. If we all started driving electric cars do you really think that the environmentalists would be happy? they absolutey positively WOULD NOT, they would be EXACTLY as mad, but about something new.
The world will always be ending, there will always be negative headlines, there will always be conspiracy theories, and there will always be something bad happening, there will always be something risky, something scary, something bad CAN HAPPEN, and sometimes does.
This is not a call to ignore potentially bad things and be a pollyanna, it is a reminder that just because you read something scary and ranting (chanting) and negative, doesn't mean it will come true. It is a reminder that, in general, the human animal manages to muddle through. And occasionally, we are brilliant OR BETTER.
And please, sometime, stop to consider that sometimes people join these cults of negativity because they offer a place to belong. The comaraderie at an enviro-nut club is probably quite nice. And sometimes this is the expression of peoples frustration with life, the world, their wife running off with the milkman, their sister having bigger boobs, whatever. And sometimes this is just the frustration of people who never really found the... willingness to swallow their pride and just give life a try. And ... sometimes, they are right.
But usually they are wrong, and a very important part about living in life in the US, where so many people are so negative about our culture despite it being easily the most successful one in the world today is tuning out the BS and focusing on what matters in life.
To accomplish this, you have to
first think for yourself. Who cares what I say? I'm some idiot with a keyboard in the middle of nowhere. YOU need to decide, after considering the possibilities. You'd be shocked how many opinions, even eloquently stated ones, are just plagarism of the lamest kind. I'd say nowhere near 10% of people actually think for themselves. Second, you have to take responsibility for your own actions. YOU bought pets.com, YOU bought a house in 2005, YOU didn't buy insurance in March 2009, "the fed" didn't make you do it. CHECKLIST started a business in a dieing industry and lost his life savings and spent YEARS digging out of that hole, CHECKLIST decided to go out for baseball and struck out 41 times in a row. I know its hard to believe, but "the bernanck" didn't make me do it. You'd be stunned how free it feels to just admit you screwed the pooch. Just try it "i completely screwed up, and it will hurt for years, and I can't ever get another chance, this sucks. It was MY fault." You will find freedom in facing that pain. And that freedom just might give you the courage to start another biz, and go up to the plate for the 42nd time. And grounding out to short that 42nd time might give you a bit more confidence, and on your 156th time you just might wind up the last kid to ever hit a ball over the center field fence of your hometown park. SOMETIMES the cults of negativity are right, but it is really, really not that often. Don't let them dominate your train of thought.
To the topic of money making: I guaran-d@man-tee you that, eventually, EVERY great investor/trader wound up with their own strategy. ALL OF THEM. Learned from others, sure, but in the end it was THEIR way that helped them win. Quit following. (note to self as well as a rant at the world).
People are generally good, for all our sins. Actually, people generally suck, but we are prone to these moments of brilliance so fantastic that it makes up for all of our failures. Like two kids in the 70s in some garage somewhere, inventing the PC. It will happen again.
And, we can do things like this.