After the market rallied nearly 11% on Monday, it dropped 1.5% yesterday, and another 9.3% today.  Given that I manage money for a living, and am experiencing this manic market firsthand, I find myself somewhat sympathetic to stories of folks stuffing their money under a mattress.

I think that taking a moment to be kind to ourselves is probably in order.  In fact, curling up for a quick nap on that mattress under which we are thinking of stuffing our money might not be a bad idea.

But then what?

Do we really liquidate all our positions, and sit entirely in cash?

Lonecherrytree

Last week, a CNBC reporter asked a money manager what he thought the market would do this week. He didn’t say up or down, but wondered aloud if we shouldn’t all take the proverbial ‘time out’, given that everyone, including money managers, seemed to be succumbing to fear.

A frustrated, and no doubt exhausted reporter, launched into a Tom Cruise/Jack Nicholson-worthy harangue — “You need to tell us the truth. The people deserve to know the truth.”

But, in this instance, the truth, was, and is — we, those who invest, decide the truth.

Will the market drop precipitously?

If we stuff all of our money under the mattress, the market will drop.

Will it surge?

If we invest, the market will go up.

We decide.

Cherryblossoms
Source:  istockphoto

I recently heard private equity investor Bob Gay make two statements that were meaningful to me when the market was 35% higher.  They are even more meaningful today, and have, in fact, become my professional watchwords.

First, paraphrasing economist John Maynard Keynes, he said, “The social object of investment is to defeat fear.”

Second, “We must have the courage to take limited means, and to invest in and encourage others…”

Said more pithily, and paraphrasing western colonizer Brigham Young, we need to “keep planting cherry trees.”

Singlecherryblossom
Source:  istockphoto

Should we throw caution to the wind?

Of course not.

But should we stop investing? Planting cherry trees? No.

Because if we do it will begin to affect everything we do and are.

And not just us, our children too.

Said Sarah Ban Breathnach “Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities.  It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend.”

We decide.

Cherries
Source:  istockphoto

So yes, the market’s bad, and yes, we’re scared.

We still must decide which ‘secret garden’ we’ll tend.

Do we continue to invest in and encourage others?

To plant cherry trees?

To dream?

Dare we not?

P.S. Over the past few weeks, both at work, and at home, I’ve started making a daily list of what I’m grateful for — an informal gratitude journal in hopes that I can tend the ‘garden of gratitude.’

2017-08-18T13:19:56+00:00 October 15th, 2008|Categories: Dare Dream Do, Personal|Tags: , , |
  • Stacey P

    I LOVE THIS POST!
    I re-read FDR’s inauguration speech which was linked to the article you suggested – so much of what he said applies to us today – it lifted my spirits for the day and given the market, that is priceless…
    Thank you for an insightful reflection…
    S

  • Janna

    I agree with Stacey P. This post ranks in my top 10 favorite Dare to Dream entries. Your perspective could not be any more needed – and I venture that many of us are struggling with sharing your views. But…
    We take care of each other by investing in each other. Throughout my first year of business, friends, family, and acquaintances took care of me by investing in my dream – financially, physically, and emotionally. Each investment has directly contributed to the growth of my business, and subsequently, the growth of my spirit.
    Looking back, I am awed by their willingness to invest – or more specifically, to risk their resources on me and my company. At the same time, however, I have taken for granted their confidence in my dream. Thanks for the reminder of the leap of faith that they took on my behalf.

  • Amy Jo

    This was a beautiful analogy – loved the developing pictures as well. Definitely one of the most timely blogs – will need to share with others – everyone is talking about this. We choose to keep planting the cherry trees ourselves. Amy Jo

  • I’m so glad you posted this. I have been wanting to hear from you on all that’s going on with the economy. Thank you!

  • BW

    There is a prophetic promise to those who will read a book, it exhorts the reader by saying this: …that you should remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men…” To know the truth, you need to remember or to be grateful. Sometimes we are like Veruca in Willie Wonka – she says: “I want the world. I want the whole world. I want to lock it all up in my pocket. It’s my bar of chocolate. Give it to me now.” I liked your reminder to be grateful on a daily basis. Thanks.