The holiday shopping season is now in full swing. Ready or not, Christmas is a mere 19 days away.
There are many different kinds of gifters and giftees in the world.
Some gifters like to work from a precise list so they know that their gift will be appreciated while others enjoy conjuring up appropriate gifts based on conversations and experience. Some gifters accumulate throughout the year while others prefer a mad dash at the finish line. Some gifters are intrinsically motivated to bring joy to people while others gift out of a sense of obligation.
Some giftees gracefully treasure each and every gift received while others are in the return line the next day converting unwanted gifts to cash. Some giftees enjoy carefully unwrapping presents while others are more speed-oriented. Some giftees will be on their best behavior for weeks while others feel they are entitled to receive a gift no matter what.
I like to think of the financial markets as an impersonal non-holiday gifter. Traders are not thinking about you when they go to work every day. They could care less about what is on your gift list. They abide by no calendars or traditions. Yet, over time the market provides you with the incredibly valuable gift of compounding returns that exceed inflation. It is really tough to come up with a more valuable gift idea than that.
If the markets are an unabashedly unpredictable gifter, what kind of giftee are you?
There are those who think the market is just too unpredictable to be trusted, so they decline their gift. Others embrace traders’ wild side, but at precisely the wrong time return their gift if they don’t get exactly what they wanted.
The ideal market giftee graciously accepts whatever gift the financial markets provide in the short-term, confidently knowing that slow motion compounding sometimes takes incredible patience. Because the market’s gifts are not constrained by confining holiday calendars, the ideal market giftee understands that it could take a significant amount of time before their gift is received in full. An ideal market giftee pauses to appreciate the market’s incredible gift on occasion, but maintains realistic expectations for tomorrow.
The ideal market giftee sounds pretty (almost extremely) boring. No counting down the days until Christmas. No overly enthusiastic dispensation of wrapping paper. No excited cheering. Just stoic acceptance of reality to counteract the occasionally extreme emotional drama of the gifter.
While we do not specialize in helping you refine your gifter or giftee skills during the holidays, we do strive to help you be an ideal market giftee throughout the year.
Quote of the week: James Clear: “Life is harder when you expect a lot of the world and little of yourself. Life is easier when you expect a lot of yourself and little of the world.”
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