Today, we rewind sixteen years for a look at the markets. To put things in perspective, this was a time of national debate over hanging chads in Florida, where Bush came out ahead of Gore in the Presidential Election of 2000. Our country had yet to be rocked by the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the Great Recession of the late 2000s. There was no Netflix or Facebook or Twitter. And no one used a cell phone to get from Point A to Point B.
Nancy was thinking a lot about time. She felt it was passing her by a little too quickly, and she concluded she would need to be more choosy when it came to where she spent it. Recently, I came across this short TED Talk of Joshua Prager introducing an interesting list he culled from writers describing different ages. If you have six minutes to spare, you may be interested in listening to what he has to say. If you don't have the time though, I hope you enjoy this glimpse of the start of 2001!
As I get older, I find time passes more quickly. Where did last summer go? Can it really be 2001? "H" was in first grade just a few years ago, wasn't she?
I get so busy filling each day with work and more work that the days flow into weeks and then into years. And I think of all the plans and intentions that fell by the wayside, because the time slipped by before I noticed they were left undone.
Meanwhile, I recognize the physical effects of aging. I don't have the stamina I used to have. I can't squeeze in as much activity in a 24 hour period as before. Time is flying by, and my body is slowing down. It's a double whammy!
So, I must be more intentional. The things I say are important to me must now be reflected in my time allotment. I must choose to live more deliberately, doling out the time I have like precious jewels. While I can't retrieve the minutes I lost last year, I can make each minute of this year count even more. It's time for me to get serious about my time.
Meanwhile, I just have to stop writing 1999 on my checks!
Wall Street is glad to see the year 2000 over and done with. After several years of double digit returns in stocks, we felt betrayed when stocks took back some of those gains.
In March, the NASDAQ topped 5000, only to lose half of its value toward year-end. The Dow faired a little better, but it also saw some backtracking. And what a jolt to those investors who had never experienced a down market.
The stock market, by its nature, is a fickle beast. It ebbs and flows with the business cycle. When economic times are good, the market is booming. When things start to slow, the market steps backwards. Add in short-term uncertainties like interest rate changes and questionable election results, and you have a beast that swaps from bull to bear in the blink of an eye.
History shows the rewards of investing in the stock market over time. But, time is the key. It is the job of investors to search for those stocks that offer good potential and then give them the time to pay off. If you don't have the time, you don't need to be in stocks. It's that simple.
While I hope for a better 2011 in the markets, I know time will tell.
--Nancy's New Perspectives Newsletter, Volume 16, January, February 2001
"Our record may lead everyone to think that we are just a ridiculously sorry team, but we're not." --Vincent Brown, New England Patriots, downplaying the team's 1-9 record