Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Wall Street Is a Battleground; How Would Gen. Grant Invest?

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Wall Street Is a Battleground; How Would Gen. Grant Invest?

Article excerpt

The recent whipsaws of Wall Street have caused a resurgence of concern that fear, hope and greed are once again the driving forces behind the financial markets.

I hate to mention this, but when have they not?

You need to accept Wall Street for what it is and realize that volatility is often the distillation of fear and ignorance, which often morph into complete irrationality. And the Street's professionals are quick to take advantage, profiting from the errors and poor judgment of the less informed.

If you are tempted to join them to get your share of the spoils, forget it. For the average investor, trying to outmaneuver the markets is like trying to herd cats, a great idea but one with little probability of success.

But Wall Street does offer unbounded potential for accumulating wealth. To realize that potential, consider the strategy of Civil War Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Grant was known for three characteristics every investor should take to heart.

The first was his ability to plan a campaign by starting with the objective. This beginning at the end was combined with an insatiable need to be constantly moving toward that objective with resolute determination. The result was an ability to focus on the big picture, create a plan and then work his plan under the most difficult circumstances.

While most of us are fortunate not to be fighting a war with a well-armed foe, we are locked into combat with procrastination and excuses that block us. We pay more attention to the color of our living room than the makeup of our portfolio.

For those under the age of 65, this procrastination is fostered by an acute association of retirement with Social Security. Unfortunately, Social Security provides little in the way of retirement security, unless of course you plan a late-life career in the fast-food industry.

If you are already retired, the enjoyment of your golden years will depend heavily on being able to maintain some semblance of your pre-retirement standard of living. Wait -- is it reasonable to expect that you can maintain such a standard without the earnings of yesteryear? Yes, if you are constantly moving toward that objective with resolute determination. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.