My family is taking our annual summer vacation this week with a bit of a twist. Yes, we are back on the beach, but we are
in Barbados instead of the place in New Jersey where we have gone the last five years.
My three boys are getting
all of the mind-opening experiences you want and expect, and then something happened last night that turned out to be one
of the most unique occurrences any of us had ever witnessed.
We walked down to the beach at 8:30 p.m. and right
there in the sand, under the small amount of moonlight, was a giant turtle crawling out of the ocean. This creature marched
about 15 yards up the beach and then proceeded to get to work. She spent well over an hour building a nest and laying her
eggs before throwing sand every which way and slow-tailing it back to the water.
Of course this activity sparked
a million questions and comments from our two older boys, aged 7 and 10. I have learned a lot about sea turtles since last
night, and I believe a few of these things belong in any long-term discussion about investing.
Sea turtles have
been around in their present form for more than a hundred million years. That is the very definition of sustainable. Scientists
believe it is common for sea turtles to live for 150 years, and some more than 200. Each turtle, as long as it lives past
the first few weeks, seems to enjoy a long, healthy and prosperous life. It is typical for a turtle to travel thousands of
miles around the ocean and then come back to the exact same spot she was born to lay her eggs. That demonstrates a great sense
of freedom while keeping firmly grounded in the past.
Perhaps the essence of the turtle’s existence can
be boiled down to simplicity and patience. The fable of the tortoise and the hare captures the ability of the truly unexpected
to actually happen, and a lot of wisdom is passed down from that unexpected outcome. My goal as an investor is to grow my
portfolio on a long-term sustainable basis, and I realize that patience and simplicity are the real secret to achieving this.
I am dedicating the rest of 2009 to that fertile turtle.
Here’s hoping she sees many happy returns to her
small slice of paradise.
Recent market action suggests that the
intermediate-term rally that started in early March still has some life. I was a believer in the bull until late May, but
I turned negative. Such abysmal volume figures and historically weak participation have never, since 1933, produced a sustainable
That leaves two conclusions. One is that there is a first time for everything. Two is we are simply
in the later stages of one of the bigger intermediate-term rallies that occur during nasty bear markets.
I am going
to go with the latter, which means the market can move up another 10 percent to 20 percent, but this is not a new bull market.
All of these returns can be swept aside so fast your head will spin. Look at 1932, 1938, 1974 or early 2003. My suggestion
is to put some money to work if you have the ability to get out very fast.•
Hauke is the CEO
of Samex Capital Advisors, a locally based money manager. His column appears every other week. Views expressed here are the
writer¹s. Hauke can be reached at 203-3365 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.