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XMFTwitty (67.95)

The Tipping Point



February 09, 2010 – Comments (7)

There is a moment, a point, a precise infinitesimal dot in the time stream that divides hope from despair, joy from sadness, success from failure. Lucky is the soul that sees it coming in advance, because timing is everything. I say lucky, because nobody can divine precisely when that moment will arrive; the best we can hope is to stay on the good side of the curve.

I have a personal anecdote to share, but first I’d like to recall this post from our discussion boards. It’s the all-time highest recommended post ever, at 2,460 recs. It’s a tale of risk, compounded and recompounded, and the almost inevitable consequence of assuming that risk:

Now for the anecdote. For years, I’ve moved a curio cabinet around when it was in the way of my work. Rather than be safe, I assumed the risk of leaving it filled. I’m not stupid, or unnaturally clumsy. Usually. Never broke anything, although there were some close calls that should have warned me.

When the tipping point came, it was a literal one. Like the portfolio described in the post above, the crash was sudden, decisive, and utterly complete. After twenty-five years of acquiring Swarovski crystal, my wife’s collection was smashed to pieces. My margin had been called. I hadn’t prepared for the worst; just hoped I could avoid it.

As I stood there in dumb, shocked silence listening to the pile of shattered glass still crackling on the floor, a soft voice said: “Honey, it’s just stuff.” That’s when I knew my real investment was safe, and paying huge dividends.I’ll not bet the farm again.


7 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On February 09, 2010 at 2:27 PM, motleyanimal (38.33) wrote:

Wow! You got away with that? I would be getting her something really special for Valentine's Day, maybe even a $25 gift card from Home Depot!  No, no...... a $50 gift card from Home Depot.

Let's do this right!

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#2) On February 09, 2010 at 2:40 PM, XMFTwitty (67.95) wrote:

Yeah, she's a keeper ;-) Gift cards at Lowes or HD don't do any good, she just buys more work for me.

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#3) On February 09, 2010 at 3:01 PM, lemoneater (56.77) wrote:

Your wife is sweet. I'm still working at it. Maybe there is hope for me after 25 years. She is right that people are more important than things, but it is not always easy to remember!

I went to swarovski and saw a really neat valentine present.,_Crystal_Red.html?CatalogCategoryName=91200&isPromotion=true

Thanks for sharing.

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#4) On February 09, 2010 at 3:25 PM, XMFTwitty (67.95) wrote:

I went to swarovski and saw a really neat valentine present.

Good idea, done ;-)

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#5) On February 09, 2010 at 4:03 PM, lemoneater (56.77) wrote:

Glad to be of assistance, TMFTwitty :). If I remember correctly you are the Motley Fool who sent me the welcome e-mail so I could join the discussion boards/blogs.

motleyanimal, that's funny. My husband is working hard on renovating our garage as he has time. I mostly provide moral support and hand him things. Lowe's and HD have been getting our discretionary cash. 

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#6) On February 10, 2010 at 11:56 AM, TMFJake (84.83) wrote:

You're a lucky man!

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#7) On February 11, 2010 at 8:49 AM, XMFTwitty (67.95) wrote:

You're a lucky man!

Indeed I am :)

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