It’s the happiest season of the year, so why the long face? Any investor knows, of course. We’ve all been through some of the roughest waters the market ever stirs up. But it’s Christmas, and happy, and I have a little story for you.
I was playing Monopoly with my family and the game began badly for me. I landed each time on Chance, or Community Chest or just visiting jail during the time when everybody else was acquiring key properties. Even the cards I drew required me to pay fines and fees, never to make money or benefit in any way. We all joked about Jason’s bad year, right down to the family Monopoly game. “You just can’t catch a break in ’08” went the refrain.
Then, a funny thing happened.
The dice turned. Other players held two of three colors, but somehow I acquired the remaining singles they needed. People came to me offering trades, I cobbled together the reds, I avoided rival properties on the board, other people landed on mine, I developed houses, I traded into a few more good properties, I turned houses into hotels, another player ended up owing me everything, I used that money and those properties to develop more, and gradually all the money in the game came to me — and I won!
It was a dramatic comeback noticed by all. Heads shook around the table. Nobody could believe it. I’ve been contacted for the documentary rights by the same people who made When We Were Kings.
A thought came to me that sometimes life is just like that. When all seems lost, something is found. Occasionally, that something is everything and the tide turns and life goes our way. Could 2008 be the beginning of the Monopoly game? Could 2009 be the end?
Hey, here’s hoping, friend. One thing’s for certain: we’ve been through a lot of bad dice rolls and crummy Chance cards. Odds favor landing on something decent one of these months, drawing something worthwhile one of these quarters. Right? Feel it with me for a second. Right?
So, in spite of it all, have a very merry Christmas and a hopeful new year. Let’s keep at it and know that nothing lasts forever. I’ll be here with you, and so will a lot of other good people, and we’re going to survive and thrive and look back together to say we made it.
I’ll be offline for a while to spend time with my family near Estes Park, Colo. I’ll be back soon. Until then, I send you the warmest holiday wishes.
Yours very truly,
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