Jewish World Review Oct. 9, 2002 / 3 Mar-Cheshvan 5763
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | You might say that the stock market did not fare too well this past September. And my guess is, other than a rare (temporary), 300 point blip, not too many brokers and traders are looking forward to October. There's a strong possibility that things will get worse. Certainly there's enough historical data to substantiate more bad news. October is Stock Market Crash month with the week of 10/14 being the15th anniversary of "Black Monday." Are you ready to par-tay?!
The largest stock-market drop in Wall Street history occurred on October 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 508.32 points, losing 22.6% of its total value. That fall far surpassed the one-day loss of 12.9% that began the great stock market crash of 1929 and foreshadowed the Great Depression. The Dow's 1987 fall also triggered panic selling and similar drops in stock markets worldwide.
But there was an important lesson that came out of the '87 crash.
Investors who sold, took a bath. Those who held on to their stocks and continued a disciplined and systemic approach received the rewards. In fact, the bad news wouldn't have been all that bad, if (A RATHER LARGE "IF"), investors would have held on for the ride. In other words, those who stood strong would have discovered a wonderful Bull hiding inside that hideous ole Bear, trying to get out.
It takes a lot of intestinal fortitude to stay the course when the walls are crumbling down while all about you compatriots are jumping ship. But that's the message brokers need to pass on to their clients. It's what makes heroes out of common men and women. It's the least they can do for their country. In my book, "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful: Mistakes, Adversity, Failure and Other Stepping Stones to Success" I spoke with a host of celebrated successes, including John Wooden, Erin Brockovich, Johnny Unitas, Jane Goodall, Teddy Pendergrass, Dr. French Anderson and many others. They all shared one common notion: that from their failures and adversities, came lessons and possibilities that they would have never received on a smoother path. As Albert Einstein once mused, "Within each difficulty, lies opportunity."
I claim no magic seed that will grow into the answer to the Market's woes. What I see is much more an attitudinal adjustment than a market correction. Results will follow. What I'd like to see is that those who are wheeling and dealing, buying and selling; those who are the soldiers on the floor, not blindly follow minute by minute trends, but instead, be leaders. Take every bit of bad news and unearth the lesson within. Become innovators. See those problems as rungs on the ladder, stepping stones, to success. Until answers are revealed, maintain a conviction that answers will be revealed.
It's not false hope nor denial at work here. It's the work ethic that begets in the bigger, better result. Though we may not get what we expect, we receive what we need. You see, failure has gotten a bad rap. There's just too much historical evidence in every part of our lives to think otherwise.
Steve Allen was fired at CBS and the door opened for a little job at NBC that became "The Tonight Show." Norm Pattiz was fired at a small L.A. television station and used what he had learned to create the billion dollar business of radio syndication. In 1928, by mistake, scientist Alexander Fleming left some bacteria samples he was working on by an open window. When he returned later he found that mold spores had contaminated one of the samples. Fleming noticed the mold was dissolving the bacteria. Fleming's botched experiments became the remedy for many an infection.
That failure became Penicillin. There's any number of other seemingly nasty moments that ended up providing something greater than what would have if there had been no disappointment.
Stuff happens, but if Allen, Pattiz or Fleming had chosen to just sit in the...stuff, instead of persevering, nothing would have developed except for a whole lot of resentment .
So, I implore those of you investing for yourself or investing for others, utilize Mr. Einstein's edict. Dig in your heels and dig for better ways. If I might add a rather grisly visual: find a way to slice open that big, bad Bear, let out the bodacious Bull within and use yesterday's failures as today's steppingstones to success.
(In his small part to help turn the economy around, Steve Young can be found on Wall Street, Tues, 10/15 (8-10AM) handing out FREE copies of his book, "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful," to stock brokers/traders. Website: www.greatfailure.com.)
10/01/02: Merriam-Webster Needs To Rethink the "F" word