It’s pitch black outside Your Survival Guy’s home office this morning. It’s blowin’ a gale, feels like a tree could come down at any moment, and it’s raining sideways, with rapid-fire drops rat-a-tat-tatting against my bay windows. Louis is tucked into himself on his dog bed beside my desk. It’s a balmy 56 degrees outside—it’s February for cryin’ out loud—and get this, by tonight, it will be 21 with a chance of snow tomorrow. Crazy times.
Speaking of crazy, Your Survival Guy hears the craziest investing stories on any given day. Here’s one I received this week from a husband and wife. It begins as they have me on speakerphone, which is never a good way to start an investing conversation, and before I say hello…
“You’re the one that lost us $900 thousand dollars!” she said.
“You’re the one that wouldn’t let me do that Amazon thing, and we missed out on a million bucks!” he said.
“Hi, this is E.J.,” I said.
“Hi CJ, this is Bob and Mary.” “She saw you guys in some magazine and…” Bob said.
“He lost us 900 thousand dollars,” Mary said.
“Listen, let me tell you what happened TJ,” Bob said. “I’m not a rich man. My life has been about work, work, work. Up at five out the door by six. Day after day. Every single day. Every day I’d bring $1 dollar to work and come home with $0.50 cents. Do you know why CJ?”
“No, why?” I asked.
“Because I’d buy a little bag of stinkin’ crackers for lunch every single day. That’s why. Why you ask? To save money. I’m a saver. Not a rich man. I save CJ. Mean-time, my co-workers? They go fancy. They go for the steak and fries, the burgers, the milkshakes, every single day. Every single day CJ. Big spenders. Now? They’re all sick or dead. Terrible health. All of ‘em sick. Sick on medications, this thing, that thing, and you know what? One just dropped dead of a heart attack. You gotta eat right. I eat right, CJ. I take care of myself,” Bob said.
“Not always,” Mary said.
“This is my story, Mary!” Bob said.
“Sorry CJ, where was I?”
“Crackers for lunch.” I said.
“Right. So I’m cheap as hell (Mary agrees), and over a lifetime of work, I saved a couple million bucks. We’re comfortable, CJ. Not fancy. Comfortable. Anyways, I get into this stock options trading, and I’m doing real good, real good, trading the VIX and then boom! Out of nowhere, like a bolt of lightning I’m down 900 thousand dollars. Out of nowhere, CJ. Down almost a million bucks. Now, CJ, I’m not a rich man.”
“Especially not now,” Mary said.
“This is my story!” Bob said.
“I understand,” I said.
“Anyway, CJ, where was I?” Bob said.
“Crackers for lunch,” I said.
“Right, so a couple of weeks ago, I see that UPS thing. You know UPS beat its number CJ. Boom! Earnings are up. Then I see this Omicron thing is not too bad. People are getting a little sick, but they’re not dyin’. OK. I’m thinking Amazon is coming out on Thursday with their earnings. Let’s get in front of this. Let’s buy some options and make the $900 thousand back!”
“It was a bad idea, EJ,” Mary said.
“No, it was not!” Bob said. “Some things are a sure thing,” Bob said. “I just knew it in my gut.”
“CJ, sure enough. Next day. Amazon up big. Bam! We missed out on a million bucks. that would have made our life a lot easier,” Bob said. “We’ve been married 40 years TJ. That would have made life a lot easier.”
“Not that much easier,” Mary said.
“You lost us a million bucks, Mary!” Bob said.
“You lost us $900 thousand ACTUAL dollars, Bob!” Mary said.
“Anyway, CJ, Mary said we need to talk with professionals. You people, you do this all day for a living. I like you guys. Listed in a big-time magazine. Professionals. Mary found you on the internet, online you know, the internet? Said we should call you. What do you think?”
“Eat more crackers.”
Action Line: The best part of my job is getting to know you—getting to hear the real-life stories every day. Hearing the emotions and working with you on the way forward or back (if you will). You don’t have to become a client right away. Sign up here for my monthly Survive and Thrive letter, and you’ll get to know me a little better. That way, when you do call, I can focus on the important work of getting to know you.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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