Taking stock

Taking StockWhen we think back to better time what comes to mind? 1986,1991,1998,1973? Better times are certainly relative. I was speaking to one of my clients last night when they mentioned the good years in 1991. For me it was a telling demonstration of our short term memory kicking in. (1991 was a major recessionary period.) I asked them after the statement. What was so great about the early nineties in your opinion? The answer- It preempted the good years of investing (obviously referring to the late nineties and the internet boom). It was also 20 years back. They had their health. They were traveling, they had recently retired and where enjoying the time together and in the golden years of life. In hindsight they wished to have traveled a little more. Spent a little more time with the family, shared more time together. With the market moving in volatile ways- it’s easy to lose focus on the important elements of life and therefore investing. It’s not just stock and bonds. Its stock in your achievement to avoid entropic destruction. It’s your children and your spouse. It’s the aunt’s uncles and friends that might need to hear from you. In this time- maybe unlike any other in the history of man, It seems that the drive to be successful and maximize every moment (often defined by the hourly income vs. input) places the real value elements on the back burner because the lack of immediate financial gain. The idea of spending an hour with your kid playing a video game would be placed second when there is the opportunity to put more money in the bank. But what is the real return on either of these investments? Consider this very simple exercise. Take a point in history mark it to memory….. For me it’s the summer of 1991. Now go back further… For me it’s 1984. Now overlap the stock market. Not a big deal really!! Up- down up again we continue to grow. What becomes important ? It has nothing to do with monetary investments, but personal investments in people. The markets will find their way. You simply need to appreciate its efficiency. You and I will benefit far more by finding the value in the people we associate with than beating our head over the potential growth benefits of Coke vs. Pepsi or Exxon vs. Chevron. Ironically so much of the market depends on the emotional strength of the consumer. Maybe it’s time to shore up the underlying catalyst (yes people!) and making people more secure in their respective ability and future. By virtue creating a point in history that they can reflect upon.