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Does Matt Foley Need To Pay You a Visit?


Let's spend a little time this month talking about how your investment portfolio is doing. In particular, I want to speak to those who are managing their own portfolio (or who have friends & family members who do) and are not experiencing the results they are hoping for. All too often I hear the same old complaints from those who struggle with the endeavor. "They 'rig' the stock market." "They manipulate everything!" "They always win." Did you notice all of these complaints started with the word, "they?" The "they," of course, never gets defined. Nobody really knows who "they" are and everyone has their own idea but, rest assured, "they" are always out to get you. I've come to realize that when someone blames a "they" what they are really doing is deflecting blame from themselves. Take a look at what legendary investor Mark Minervini has to say:


Every time you make an excuse and blame outside forces for your problems and failures, you resign yourself to helplessness. The market isn't rigged. There isn't a conspiracy against the "little guy." You must take 100% ownership of your results. You must acknowledge your role in the situation you are experiencing. Then, you can at least acknowledge that you have control.... I sucked at trading for almost 6 consecutive years. But I didn't give up my personal power by blaming. I took responsibility and worked on my weaknesses until they became strengths. You can, too. It all starts with living a life of no excuses.


Do you see what Mark did there? "I took responsibility and worked on my weaknesses until they became strengths." How many of us have done that? Maybe it was with a sport we played? Or an academic endeavor. Or a parenting problem. When we stop making excuses for poor investment results and start taking responsibility for our decisions then, and only then, can we stop feeling helpless and start winning more consistently at investing. This is a message I've worked hard to bring to my own heart the last few years. There is no "they." Only me, and the decisions I make. If you're managing your own investment portfolio, hopefully you are doing the same. If you're not, and instead are blaming others and making excuses for your failures, it's time you either start taking responsibility for your decisions or hire someone who will.

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