There are good days, and there are bad days.
“Mama said there'll be days like this. ‘There'll be days like this,’ my mama said.” (Artist: The Shirelles)
So, how do you react when life throws you…tomatoes? (You were thinking lemons, huh?) Well, it is true, there are lots of good things that can be made out of tomatoes. Salsa, ketchup, spaghetti sauce… all a tasty part of the right dish. But none of them has the same zing as the sweet, refreshing taste of lemonade, right?
Ok, so let’s just go with it for a minute. Someone is throwing a piece of fruit at your face. What is your first reaction? Probably, to duck or avoid it. Maybe, you’d catch it and throw it back in retaliation. It’s not really a natural reaction to just stand there and let it hit you in the face, right? Your natural reaction is to protect yourself, put up a defense.
That is the same natural reaction that causes us to make reckless investment decisions. When the market dips we want to duck, hide, protect, do anything besides just stand there and get hit in the face by the tomato.
When the news media makes us think the world is coming to an end every day, our natural instinct is to “buy gold and run for the hills.” Let’s not forget about the news reports where people are telling us we should all think this presidential election cycle will cause the failure of modern society and a move back to a barter economy.
The irony is that when it comes to investing, and often life, the smartest and best decision is to simply stand still, and let the tomato hit you. You just stand there with stoic resolve knowing that the worst that is going to happen to you is that your face and clothes might get a little messy. Oh, well. And if it does hit you, you then just get a towel, wipe it off, and move on with your life. Because, after all, it is just a tomato. You are able to put it in perspective and to not over-react. But again, that response is not a natural one. Even the professionals still feel that natural response twitch telling them to SELL NOW!
And the reality is that we are all going to face these situations throughout our lives in one form or another. Didn’t get into the college you wanted…tomato! Lost your job…tomato! Girlfriend broke up with you for a rich Italian playboy…tomato! Brexit vote unexpectedly goes the wrong way…tomato!
Admittedly, when they hit you, these things can sting. But, they won’t kill you or ruin your life the way some would have you believe. They are part of what makes the world an interesting place to live.
So the next time you hear something from the business news like “Dow down 5%, start of next recession?” ignore it. Let the tomato hit you, and move past it. Who knows, maybe tomorrow someone will decide to throw money at you instead!