“Here you go, Tom. Here’s the car I want.” It was about ten years ago and a friend showed me a magazine ad for a Tesla. He laughed. He was part owner of a nice art gallery, but that meant he had enough to keep an old Toyota running, not go out and buy a new Tesla, or even a new Toyota. So goes the like of an artist and gallery owner.
(Side note: Galleries aren’t museums. The art on display is for sale, not entertainment. Want to make a gallery owner happy, or at least happier, or at least able to pay some bills? Compliments are nice, but; Buy Art. But I digress; which is why I labeled this as a side note.)
The man is known for wisdom, but didn’t recognize this nugget coming from himself. He joked about not being able to buy the car, but possibly being able to buy a share of stock. didn’t. He should’ve.
A friend works in a retail store. Several years ago she told me about how customers were coming into the store and using her phone for price comparisons, and for checking product information. There she stood with years of education that people ignored as if she was “just a clerk”, instead of a conscientious part of the health care industry. “They come in, type something into their phone, then frequently just walk out. They google everything.”
She’s also well-educated about the stock market. The verb ‘google’ was on her mind, but surely Google couldn’t make much money doing this, could they? She didn’t buy.
How many people do you know who have been griping about Facebook for years, and yet use it from choice or necessity every day? “This is ridiculous!” And yet, they’ll pay for ads because conventional wisdom says they should. Instead of buying ads, what would their lives be like if they’d bought a share of FB?
“This Bitcoin thing is going to be a thing.” I said and wrote about several years ago. As usual with me, I was too early into the trend. Too early would’ve been highly profitable, but I didn’t have much money, the currency had climbed ten-fold, and the technology included hurdles between where I had the money and where I could buy a coin. I relented. Bitcoin was at ~$220. Now, over $54,000. Eep and oops.
Readers of this blog know I tend to buy early. Lately, that’s been too early. Sure, MVIS is up to ~$10 and has been as high as ~$30 in the last year, but my return on investment is terrible considering that I’ve held the stock for two decades. And yet I hold it and actually bought a bit more because, and I internally groan as I say this yet again, I think they might finally succeed within the next 9-18 months.
Buying early doesn’t always work. But ignoring personal intuition can mean missing massive opportunities.
IF I bought those two Bitcoins, I probably would’ve sold one when Bitcoin jumped to $15,000; which would’ve paid off a lot of debt. In my normal style, I probably would’ve sold the other one out of necessity rather than taking out a loan. But that was an IF.
Buying FB, GOOGL, TSLA, early could’ve meant retiring debt, or even retiring from work. For many working people, there might not be sufficient funds to buy enough for retirement, but imagine how a couple hundred dollars blossoming into a few thousand, or tens of thousands can improve a life.
Sadly, those rewards come with risks. Thirty years ago I had sufficient savings that I was able to buy enough AOL, PIXR, SBUX, MSFT, etc. to retire at 38 years old. Ten years ago, the stocks I was left with held promise, but those promises have not been fulfilled – and may not be, and yet may be, too.
This blog is based on my book, Dream. Invest. Live. The book is partly based on the simple, yet sometimes difficult, tactic of “Spend less than you make, and invest the rest.” Especially since the Great Recession (the Second Great Depression, in my opinion) spending less is difficult as income didn’t rise as quickly as expenses. There’s a limit to how little it is possible to spend and maintain the basics. The trend’s been going on since the early 80s, but has become more pronounced, lately. So, I don’t expect everyone to invest. The extra cash isn’t always there. That’s one reason I didn’t buy any FB, GOOGL, or TSLA, and why I gave up so readily when I tried to buy a Bitcoin or two.
But I saw one of those friends today while shopping in her store. I saw the Tesla fan while checking my social media feeds. And, of course, did anyone Not touch Google in some way today?
I’ve learned to trust my intuition, and accept the risk. Sometimes the risk is painful. Sometimes the reward is astonishing. Conventional wisdom, wisdom based on what was considered ‘normal’ doesn’t apply as readily as before. My friends’ intuitive senses and their observations reminded me that sometimes the best person to listen to is as deeply personal as it is possible to be. Trust yourself, or even your Self? I’ll leave that choice to you; but I know I have learned to give myself and my Self more credit – and a bit more patience. I think I’ve already taken on enough risk. It’s time for the reward.