Market Wrap-Up for Sept.11 (WMT, MCO, BMY, CLF, X, BTU, more)
The markets didn’t pay much mind to comments out of Moody’s (MCO) today regarding another debt downgrade warning for the U.S. government. The focus instead remains on the next couple of days where ECB/Federal Reserve bailout news should dominate the headlines.
Leading today’s charge higher were some of the names Wall Street analysts praised with commentary, including Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY). The commodity space was also moving. Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) and U.S. Steel (X) paced some of the gains. Coal has also been trying to form a bottom, with some value players scooping up stocks like Peabody Energy (BTU) and Walter Energy (WLT). Remember, though: spending time around the 52-week low list looking for value doesn’t tend to be a good investment strategy from my experience. Ignore the weaker names and concentrate on buying strength if you want to build long-term wealth.
The Money/Success Entourage
I recently saw a segment about current middleweight boxing champion Sergio Martinez, and how he was preparing for his coming showdown this weekend with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. The amazing thing is how Martinez maintains his sense of stability by keeping just one trainer with him throughout his fight preparation (aside from a stable of sparring partners). Most boxers when they reach a certain level of accomplishment tend to have scores of individuals floating all around them. The larger the number of hangers-on, it seems, the greater the chance for others to bring you down.
Mr. Martinez has managed to keep a very sedated approach, and is considered by many one of the top five pound-for-pound boxers in the world. Like Mr. Martinez, I too, have kept my inner circle quite lean through the key years of my success. I have numerous acquaintances, but my day-to-day tends to be laser-focused.
I have also found that getting into a pretty strict routine has been the most rewarding from a success standpoint. It kind of goes with my methodical nature dating back to my food retail days (in my teens), as one of my old bosses labeled me the most methodical person he had ever met. He meant it as a compliment, as he appreciated my daily routines. He often knew in many cases exactly what would get done and at what time.
I’ve stuck to that same approach over the years, and I’ve tried to pass on the methodical trait to my children — and whomever I am doing business with. The biggest problem I see in today’s ever-changing business environment is the inconsistency in the performance from individuals who promise to deliver results, but rarely do. Deadlines get missed, e-mails never get returned on time, and the story just lingers from there.
If you intend to put on a show for many people in your pursuit of success and happiness, be prepared for bigger and bigger distractions along the way. Instead, I suggest keeping your expectations to yourself, getting laser-focused on your goals, and keeping your inner circle very small. Sooner than later, you will gain more traction than you could have ever imagined. As I mentioned before, when Tom Reese (my co-founder in Dividend.com) and I put our heads together to bring our site from just an initial concept to make it the dividend research market leader it is today, we just went at it. There was no need to check in and get reassurance every few days to make sure we were on the right track. We knew what needed to be done and just did it.
When investing in the markets, the best approach is to find the right “trainer” (Dividend.com we hope), and take the necessary actions to build wealth over the long term. Sure, there are plenty of other valuable services out there that are worth a look, but at some point, you will realize less is sometimes a lot more in the research game. Which leads me to my last tip, and that is avoiding the everyday helter skelter business media coverage of our global markets as much as possible. You will find yourself and your portfolio less distracted, and that’s how great long-term investors inevitably outperform those who insist on keeping score on a daily basis.
Hard to believe it’s been eleven years already, and the pain and memories from that day still resonate among so many who witnessed the terrible events that unfolded that day. There aren’t too many thoughts I can add at beyond what I remind myself of every year at this time, and something I have shared with all of you before:
“I set my schedule differently these days, even with the magnitude of what Dividend.com is. One day a week, it’s all family day. At night I kiss the kids to sleep, tell them about my day, and hear about theirs. I also try to have dinner with them as much as I can. At the end of all we accomplish, we will be remembered not for our financial status, but truly how we treated others and remembering to give without worrying about the consequence of what we will receive.”
For myself, Tom, the Dividend.com team, and all our families, we would like to take this time to thank all of our bravest who commit their lives to protecting this country in every way and also to those who have sacrificed their lives so that all of us can live in a country with the liberties that we have. And also, we pray for the lives that were lost and for the families that have suffered.
Thanks for reading everybody. I’ll see you tomorrow!
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