Last night, Becky and I watched episode four, season 1 of The Crown on Netflix as we honor the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. During the episode, a blanket of fog covers the streets of London, overwhelming hospital beds with residents gasping for air. Prime Minister Winston Churchill is under immense pressure to “do something,” but he holds firm with his belief that the fog is an act of nature, and an act of God, and that it will lift.
When Churchill’s young secretary is fatally struck by a bus, he arrives at a busy hospital where someone yells at him to “put on a mask!” Fittingly, he responds that masks don’t work they’re just a symbol that the government is doing something. Sound familiar?
There’re those nasty two words, “doing something.” Those words in relation to Covid seem to have clouded our lives for what feels like forever. Even Joe Biden now believes it’s over. But when there’s no emergency, “doing something” is much harder to “do.” So America remains in a state of emergency.
The most powerful scene (see below) is when The Queen is advised by her bedridden grandmother Queen Mary: “To do nothing is the hardest job of all.”
While Churchill waits for his meeting with the queen, she sits alone for what seems like hours gazing through the window at the hazy air, not sure what to do. When she finally summons him, it appears she’s ready to order him to “do something,” just as a beam of sunlight comes through the window.
Action Line: It’s human nature to want to act. But acting often worsens the problem, which can be especially true for your investments. Acting may help you feel better: perhaps by selling until you can sleep. But that just presents you with a new problem of figuring out when to get back in. As the late great Jack Bogle said: “Don’t just do something, stand there.” Wise words indeed. “God Save the Queen.”
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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