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September 29, 2008

The answer to the financial crisis

Banjo_market . . . isn't the bailout. It's the banjo.

(Thanks to The Bluegrass Blog and my dad for the tip. Image © The Bluegrass Blog.)

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I read a book by J. Paul Getty where he recommended the strategy of picking an excellent stock and holding it for long term. It's interesting to see that confirmed mathematically.

But as to banjos, well...: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tqxzWdKKu8


... and if you want to avoid the profanity in that YouTube video (sigh), stop it at 3:52 (out of 4:12). My sincere apologies, everyone; I'd forgotten about the spoken coda.


That banjo part is the best part of the movie Deliverance! But did you catch how much Burt Reynolds got charged to fill the gas tank? $4.99! Sorry to get slightly off track but, I guess the cost of gas plays into all this mess with the economy a bit too.

Benjamen R. Meyer

Quite true - but then...

From the aspect of the market, the short term stock player has high-risk, which typically will yield high-return - but could also yield high loss. However, the long term stock player will sit through the swings, will typically have a lower risk and lower return. Neither is bad per se, though one will certainly worry more than the other.

However, the greater advise in light of either approach is still as the column suggests - be the banjo short term or banjo long term player. The banjo short term player won't be constantly looking at the stocks/etc; they'll sit back a little and play it over the course of a few days to a week, or a few weeks to a month. Not the high-risk-roller stock player betting on every second; some opportunities lost, but many more gained.

As the Greeks use to say - everything in moderation, nothing in excess.

This also goes to the Biblical advise - who is your master? Whom do you serve? Are you letting God be your master and trusting Him with your investments? Or are you trying to be greedy and play every second, serving the god of wealth? In fact, God advises us not to worry and trust Him in all we do - "Don't worry about tomorrow for it will take care of itself" so the passage goes (or something like that at least).

The local church I've been going to the last few weeks has been going through a 4 week sermon on financial matters. One big point the pastor has made is to (i) give to God first what is God's (tithe), and (ii) to trust God with it. Jesus said that God keeps track of the birds and the flowers and ensures all things in creation are fed and taken care of; He knows how many stars are in the sky, and how many hairs on your head; how much greater than does He pay attention to us?

Indeed, worry less and trust God more. Not only will it help you financially, but it'll bring you longer life. (Worrying tends to shorten one's lifespan.)

In all things trust the Lord your God and "lean not on your own understandings". He has great thing in-store, though we might not be able to see them yet if at all in this life on earth. But to receive the benefits He has planned for us, we must first trust Him in everything.

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