The markets got off to a slow start this week. We'll see plenty
of earnings results in the next few days from major companies, so
be prepared. A weaker-than-expected retail sales number this
morning kind of set the stage for the lack of oomph out of the
gates as well as the rest of the session.
Speaking of the retail sector, shares of Coach (
) and Lowe's (
) were some of the weaker performers on this morning's data. Late
Friday, a favorable settlement had been reached with credit card
merchant plays Visa (
) and MasterCard (
), helping both names see a bounce, along with other credit card
plays American Express (
) and Capital One Financial (
). Citigroup (
) shares ended slightly higher following
the company's earnings beat
. Gannett (
) also posted modest gains following their report. Lastly, cautious
Wall Street analyst commentary had shares of Sotheby's (
), Mead Johnson Nutrition (
), and Tim Horton's (
) finishing in the red.
Opportunity Slips Through Our Fingertips Sometimes
This past weekend was very eventful, as I helped coach my
10-year-old son's baseball team in an all-star tournament.
Unfortunately, our run in the tournament ended when my own little
guy dropped a popup at 3rd base, allowing the winning run to cross
the plate. It was a heartbreaking moment for him, myself, and the
We all know the scenario. It's a play he would normally make 100
times over, but in that one moment, he failed to close the glove
properly and the ball squirted out. Despite the disappointment, my
message to my son and the team was that they should be proud to
have gotten as far as they did. Even though the outcome of the game
wasn't what we'd hoped for, I told them to keep their heads up,
since they did great just getting to that game.
Overall, the team played a very sloppy game. We had numerous
chances to play better on offense (leaving lots of runners on base)
and defense (too many mistakes on the field), so the kids all knew
the loss was a team effort. Such is nearly always the case - in
wins or losses.
Looking at our own professional lives, we all have stories of
how if just one or two things had changed, that things might've
turned out much differently. My father often recounts a big missed
opportunity back in 1980. You see, my father is a barber, and the
owner of the building where his shop was located offered to sell
the building to him and his partner.
My dad had just bought his first home the year before, so the
timing was bad to try and pull off the deal himself. He valiantly
tried to recruit a partner to go in with him and unfortunately no
one wanted to step up - not his business partner, not his
relatives, and not any of his friends. As a result, my father
missed the big opportunity to buy the building. I can only imagine
the cash flow the property would have thrown off all those years.
The building was comprised of 6 retail stores and 12 apartments -
the $300K asking price in 1980 wasn't all that bad, and the
landlord gave my dad his partner in the barbershop the first crack
at the deal before it was listed and snapped up quickly. For years
after, my dad would look at other properties, but nothing ever
matched up with that one particular opportunity, so he never pulled
Opportunities will always slip through our fingers in life, but
that doesn't mean we should ever stop pursuing our goals. Focus
solely on making the best financial/investment decisions possible
to set yourself up for the years ahead. Just as my son's baseball
team will soon get back on the field practicing, we as investors
should never quit the game just because we made a costly error.
Sometimes the bounce just doesn't go your way. For anyone out there
who's come close, but not quite been able to get over the hump,
pick your head up and keep moving ahead. You never know what next
great opportunity could be just around the corner.
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I hope everyone had a chance to check out our
members-only weekend articles , including new features that
highlight some of the biggest winners and losers from the week that
was, such as analyst upgrades/downgrades and earnings/story stocks.
These articles are a great way to catch up on the week that was in
the markets. We also have a rundown of how various Dividend ETFs
performed on the week.
Thanks for reading everybody. I'll see you tomorrow!
Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the
Best Dividend Stocks
, as well as a detailed explanation of
our ratings system here