Trying to make sense of the carnage that the financial markets have wrought this past month has left both the individual and institutional investor panic stricken. The market has experienced intense volatility, with the Dow dropping over 450 points in single trading session and the NASDAQ taking its second biggest fall in twenty-seven years. World markets feel like an out of control freight train driven by the falling Japanese Yen, Russian Ruble, and weak leadership here and abroad. Uncertainty drives people, to act in an irrational manner. Anger and frustration are not the allies of the investors; they convince people to change their course of action, second guess long-term goals and decisions. It could be very easy for us to share these same feelings. Instead of looking at a downturn in the market as a positive buying opportunity, we could very easily sell off our holdings, put the cash in the bank, and look for 3%. Maybe we might even hop on the next plane to Vegas so my brothers and I can try to make back any type of loss that we may have taken on the color black. Moreover, why don’t we just quit the business, retire from our profession, accept defeat, wallow in our stressful problems, shortcomings, roadblocks, and just consider ourselves failures.
Rationality and calm keeps us directed and focused. We are going to sit up straight, take a collective deep breath, and say to ourselves that everything is beautiful. From the instant we are born until the day we die life is a continuous chain of struggle. Anyone can make do or benefit from a positive situation. It is in the time of struggle that we show our true colors. Rewards will come to those who meet their difficulty head on. Wherever you find a truly successful person you will find that he or she has struggled throughout his or her life. Nothing worthwhile in life is ever achieved without a struggle. This struggle will pass, it is not life threatening.
The Chinese language is written in symbols. The symbol for the word “crisis” is comprised of two other symbols. One is the symbol for “danger,” the other is the symbol for “opportunity.” What defines us as individuals in the business world is our ability to handle crisis. Ask yourself, “Do I view crisis as danger, or an opportunity?” We all want to retire with millions of dollars and when that happens, it will be a result of how we handled the low-points, not the high’s. The stock market like everything else in life has its peaks and valleys; we have to remember that over the long-term the stock market has outperformed most investments. History has taught us that one will make a lot more money spending time in the market than trying to time the market. It is time to turn this struggle into exactly what it is, “opportunity.” Consider it an open door to create wealth. Help us; help you make the most of your investments including the accounts with which you are struggling.