Saturday, May 10, 2014

"THOSE WHO CAN, DO; THOSE WHO CAN'T, TEACH..."

I agree. 

I agree, that is, up to a point. When I make the statement above, I'm not trying to be ironic or clever. I'm just speaking from experience. Yes, from experience:  When I could, I did; now I can't, so I don't; since I can't, I'll teach, then I'll once again be able to do.


Those who can, do...

I once had money, lots of money. And when I had that large amount of discretionary money, I was able to apply the simple instructions I'd received from a trusted person for investing that money. I did so. And I was hugely successful.


Those who can't...

Obviously, that changed; I am not longer well-off, not by a long shot. I am not here going to go into all that transpired, that took me from comfortable affluence to abject poverty, then on to the uncomfortable existence that is my experience now, and I may never do so. Let's just say that it was a very ugly phase of my life. And it involved alcoholic thinking and behavior patterns.


...teach...

Here's what has happened recently: Getting started, I have to tell you the background of all this: First, I was taught a method of selecting stocks, investing in those stocks, and then of managing the portfolio of stocks that I select. That method is breathtakingly simple, but relies not a bit on whims and hunches and intuition or such; it's purely, purely mathematically exact. To be sure, none of the high-flying, hugely profitable tech stocks of recent years would have been included in a portfolio based on those investment principles, but neither would anyone have been burned when those stocks went into free-fall a few years ago.

Anyway, continuing the background saga with a specific example: Using my stock selection method, a particular stock JUMPED OFF the page at me one Sunday. It was a tiny, obscure company called Airlease (NOT the "Airlease" that's listed now). I had never before, nor have I ever since then, encountered a stock that so strongly said to me, using my parameters, "Buy me." I'm telling you, it was the strongest "Buy me" that I've ever experienced; almost palpable. SO strong was that impression that when I went in to work the following day, I told my boss, Lou F., about it. Unbeknown to me at the time, Lou was an active investor in the stock market, and he asked his stock broker about Airlease. Since that tiny company's paper value did not square with the traditional, orthodox investing model, Lou's broker told him No, absolutely not.

Fast forward to Lou's birthday party: I'm not going to go into detail, but it was one of the few times in my long, long, loooonnnng life that I've felt uncomfortable and out-of-place in a social setting. Lou's wife had informed me a day or two earlier that they were going to celebrate Lou's birthday that Saturday afternoon, and that they wanted me to come. She told me that his daughters were coming (one from New York, the other from Northern California), and I just assumed that it was going to be a small, family celebration of Lou's birthday; maybe Lou, his wife Lenore, their children and their children's spouses and significant others would be there, in addition to me. As I marched to their house that sparkling, beautiful afternoon, I kind of noted all the Caddies and Jags and Lincolns and Lexuses and other luxury cars along the streets, but after all, it was a weekend afternoon and it was a very nice,  comfortable, upper-middle-class neighborhood, so it was not surprising that there would be home parties in that area. Well, I rang Lou and Lenore's doorbell, and when the maid opened the door, I almost fainted; there I stood with my little Macy's-sale shirt, peering over the head of the Salvadoran maid, into a room full of rich, elderly white folks (no, I'm not being racist; I'm being accurate); the maid and I were the only pepper specks in that salt shaker! I tell you, I would NEVER have stepped into that room had Lauren, Lou's daughter, not seen me and, "Oh, Don! There you are. Come in!" she exclaimed. Of course, I was absolutely mortified, but I had to go on in, and they added my little $9.99 Macy's shirt to the pile of much costlier birthday gifts, which included $100 gift certificates, Starbucks coffee machines, etc., etc., ad nauseam.

Getting to the point of this really boring narrative: Lou marched me into the middle of the floor, and announced (as black as I am, I'm sure my face was neon RED!), "Everybody, you've all heard us speak of our clerk, Don. Well, this is Don --- whom we consider to be a part of our family!" About that time, a well- but casually-dressed, middleaged man happened to be walking by, and Lou grabbed his arm. "And this," said Lou, "is_______, my stockbroker. Don, my CLERK here, suggested a couple of years ago that I buy shares of Airlease stock --- some of you remember I spoke to you about it. Well, __________here, my broker, told me that was foolish; I should put my money into ________. I listened to my broker, the professional, and invested ten thousand bucks in the stock he recommended, and not in the stock that my clerk, my CLERK, recommended. So now, my $10,000 is less than $5,000, but I've kept track of Airlease stock and dividend payments; if I'd put my $10,000 in that stock back when Don, my CLERK, suggested it, my $10,000 investment would now be worth over $30,000!" The temperature in that room dropped at least 40 degrees, and that stock broker (who'd probably planned to do a lot of networking among those rich, old folks) didn't say a word to me for the rest of that day --- and hasn't said a word to me since then!

Lou strongly suggested to me then that I should put my stock-selection method down in writing, and sell it. Later, when I worked for another company in the lighting components industry, another elderly gent pushed and pushed and pushed for me to do the same. Eric knew that I was short of money, so he suggested that there might just be a way for me to profit from teaching my investment strategy.

The final straw came last Saturday at Union Station during my volunteer gig. An elderly guy and his wife, obviously affluent, came to my booth, and the man asked me, "Aren't you Don, who used to work for Lou F_____?" It took me aback, but I confirmed that I was. He then turned to his wife and told her, "This is the guy that taught Lou the method we use in selecting our stocks." He turned back to me and said, " Lou always spoke very highly of you, and I just want to thank you for the life that we are able to enjoy now." Then they went on.

I don't know who the guy and hs wife were, but if they happen to read this, I hope they'll "Friend" me. Maybe I'm responsible for where you are now (or not), but what you said last Saturday is definitely responsible for where I'm going to go now.


I can't, so I'll teach...

I am broke. Obviously, there are those who are not broke, and for some folks, that's thanks to what they learned from me. So, I'm going to teach:

Percolating in the back of my mind have been two business models, and I think that what you have read will explain why I'm going to take time off now and flesh those ideas out: The first is a course in developing a successful, profitable portfolio of stocks; the second is an MLM application and method of selling that course which will enable people of even extremely modest means not only to invest for their (and their family's) future, but also to profit handsomely. The latter might possibly be described by some people as a "cash gifting" idea, but I'm insistent that it will not be one of those illegal, Ponzi-scheme programs; it will be an "abundance sharing," NOT a cash gifting program.

I'll teach only as long as I can't invest. The second I'm able once again to start investing, using the very same methods that I'll teach my students, I'll stop teaching.

Those who can, do; those who can, teach.