- Thoughts for inspired living

The Stock Market Is A Crock Market - Grasshopper

Not as in a "crock of s**t," but as in "Crockpot."

The Grasshopper rarely comments on anything fiscal because it's not usually his area of expertise. That's why this little whispering got my attention.
As it turns out, his observation has farther reaching effects than the buying and selling of financial instruments but indulge me a personal story . . .
I, like many of you, had more money in my IRA or 401K last summer than I do now. The market came tumbling down and I got out after my investments lost over 60% of their value. Now the drama really began.
I decided to become a Wall Street whiz and reinvest in other stocks than had also tanked but had a better chance of having a "meteoric "rise in my mind. I was going to "time the market." Rather than turn this into a comedy, I won't tell you that I thought GM was a good buy at $7.50 a share. It's now hovering above $1.
More money was lost and now I was down 80%. Had I had stayed with my initial investment; I would now only be down 30% - an expensive lesson.
The stock market never comes back as fast as it drops and the return is a marathon, not a sprint. Yes, there are some people who had better luck than I did in timing the market but they're like gamblers who have a big night at the table. On balance, they lose.
Crockpot cooking is slow cooking. Financial return is slow cooking. Life is slow cooking.
Impatience is not a virtue. My investment strategy proves that axiom.
Some run at a wall full force and bang into it. If it doesn't crumble, they take another crack at it, and then another, and then another until they do damage to themselves. Others make no effort at all. Neither one of them knows about crockpot cooking.
You can't cook a tough cut of beef on a stove top and tenderize it in 10 minutes. The same is true if you make no effort. But if you put it in a crockpot, you can get the desired result. You just have to wait for it cook.
The method that works is noticing that your method isn't working.
If you are always chasing the horizon or waiting for someone to knock on your door, you will have a tough life.
It's time for some crockpot cooking.
Reminds me of another story . . .
A person that worked for me many years ago acted up and verbally abused my assistant. The minute I heard the news, I wanted to confront and fire him. I went to my boss and told him what happened. He said something like, "Isn't it a shame that we can't write down what we want to say or do and stow it away for 24 hours?" I got the message.
I waited 24 hours. In that time, the employee apologized without prompting and took full responsibility for his actions. We retained his services without further incident. Slow cooking.
I am a big proponent for catalysts as long as they enhance the process. What we seem to do when we want to speed things up is to add too much spice and ruin the meal.
Crockpot cooking requires preparation and patience. You have to assemble the ingredients and slice and dice them to the proper proportions before the cooking can begin. You then place them all together in the pot and select the amount of recommended heat and time.
The most important ingredient is patience.
Some have a tendency to plant something and then dig it up the next day to see if it's taking root. That requires that you start all over again. Some never plant anything and wish for a big tomato. Neither strategy works.
If you're not getting the results you want, may I recommend two strategies and their Chinese counterparts:
1.       Stop wishing ("Talk doesn't cook rice.")
2.       Slow down ("The longest journey begins with the first step.")
If someone is telling you that life is a series of shortcuts, the proper response is: "What a crock!"
All the best,
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