Three American Canonical Sermons
Board: Macro Economics
Thank you for reminding me of the first of the Three American Canonical Sermons, which I shall now reproduce in full for the benefit of our younger community members, with investing-related commentary befitting my laser-like focus on topical relevance on these boards:
The Sermon on Full Commitment, from William W. Purkey:
You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Lose yourself in the emotions of the moment as you make trading decisions
Love like you'll never be hurt,
TSLA and NFLX, anyone?
Sing like there's nobody listening,
Just check out any teenager with headphones – videotape it if you can for later blackmail use (Facebook can be a parent’s best friend)
And live like it's heaven on earth.
Spend freely; do not sweat details such as budgets and future needs (college, retirement, etc.)
Well, to be honest, although I follow all of these principles in my own investing, I am not sure on reflection that, taken as a whole, they constitute good advice.
Let’s move on to:
The Sermon on Risk, from Nelson Algren (I wish he had used “person” instead of “woman,” but I believe it is a felony to alter any of the Canonical Sermons):
Never play cards with a man called Doc.
Do not trade options or futures; the guy on the other side of the trade is probably “Doc”
Never eat at a place called Mom's.
Do not just buy the story; do your research and look at the hard facts
Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own.
Everybody loves a good turnaround story . . . for a while
OK, not bad!
The great Sermon on the Unity of Being (aka the “Sermon on the Mound”), from Satchel Paige:
Avoid fried meals, which angry up the blood.
Sell MCD and PNRA; buy WFM
If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.
If you are nervous about the market, push away from the computer and think about something else. Play some canasta.
Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move.
Uhhh . . . .
Go very light on the vices, such as carrying on in society. The social rumble ain't restful.
Sell SAM and PM
Avoid running at all times.
If you think you have to hurry to seize a trading opportunity, don’t – just take a deep breath and resolve to think about it for 24 hours and then approach it again. This, BTW, is also a pretty good recipe for handling opportunities for flirtatious adventures outside the boundaries of the domestic relationship (as a ruggedly handsome individual, I have had to develop a policy for such things).
Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you.
Make your trades based on today and tomorrow, not yesterday – do not anchor on your history with that stock.
I would love to have had an opportunity to sit on a stump and chat with this guy . . . .
OK, that was definitely On Topic – in fact, so much so that I am skittish and uncomfortable. So, Wendy, seeing that you implicitly brought up the topic of Satchel Paige (strange; I would not have pegged you for a baseball fan) . . . .
Once upon a time there was an intelligent, personable young man who had an unusual talent: he could throw a baseball straighter and faster than anyone had ever seen.
Although this talent was valued highly, the young man was not allowed to display it in the usual forums because his skin was darker than permitted. So while paler stars occupied the public eye and competed for the highest prizes, the brilliant youngster labored in relative obscurity.
Supernovas will out, however, and eventually young Mr. Paige became known across the land.
Large crowds would flock to watch him strike out other talented dark men in the summer, and even larger crowds would come to see him pitch in the off-season against “barnstorming teams” – teams assembled from the best of the wan players. Often in these games Mr. Paige would delight the crowd by inviting his outfielders and infielders to go sit in the shade while he dealt with the pallid efforts of the best major league batters, usually by throwing nine straight unhittable strikes.
It was widely understood among baseball professionals of his era that Mr. Paige was the greatest pitcher of all time.
This is reflected in the unconscious testimony of a New York Yankees scout reporting on the efforts of the rising young Yankee phenomenon, Joe DiMaggio, against the lethal dark thrower in a barnstorming game in Oakland. After Paige had struck out fourteen batters, including DiMaggio three times, DiMaggio managed to beat out an infield ground ball for a single:
A Yankee scout watching the game wired the club that day a report that read, "DiMaggio everything we'd hoped he'd be: Hit Satch one for four." DiMaggio later said that Paige was the best pitcher he had ever faced.
Jolting Joe got the girl, the money, and a song.
Well, he could not be ignored, despite the best efforts of a pastel society. He did pretty well, and left quite a legacy. I wonder, though, if time and distance will ever give us the clarity of vision to understand – as did all of Mr. Paige’s contemporaries – that he was, by a wide margin, the greatest pitcher who ever lived.
A Drumlin Daisy