Market Wrap-Up for Oct.9 (AAPL, INTC, JNJ, LAZ, more)

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The markets saw increased selling today, as some pointed to the IMF's (International Monetary Fund) warning of a potentially serious global slowdown related to fiscal problems in the US and Europe.

Investors' love for Apple ( AAPL ) shares were certainly being tested once again today, as the computer and mobile device giant continued its recent string of down days. Wall Street analyst downgrades added to the nervousness as well, with names like Intel Corp ( INTC ), Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ ), and Lazard Ltd. ( LAZ ) seeing red. As for today's downdraft, my guess is there may be a growing concern for how earnings season will be shaping up in this fourth quarter. After all, we did see some companies sort of get a pass last quarter with earnings that weren't quite up to snuff.

The Window to Succeed

In my ongoing fascination with sports and how developments in these games can relate to our own lives, I'd like to look today at a common theme for many major sports franchises. Just a few days ago, the Texas Rangers were eliminated from the Major League Baseball playoffs after losing the one-game elimination vs. the Baltimore Orioles. The Rangers had been cruising for much of the season, but after losing 7 out of their last 9 games, they blew a chance to avoid having to play the one-game playoff.

Why am I using the Rangers as my case study today? There are several reasons, one being the team advanced to the Word Series the previous two seasons, losing both times. Also, the club's superstar outfielder Josh Hamilton is set to become a free agent this offseason and could very well be playing elsewhere next year. Could it be that the Rangers' window to succeed has come and gone? It's quite possible, although the team does still possess one of the more heralded minor league systems. As such, the Rangers may be able to recover better than other teams if they lose a player or two. Regardless, many Rangers' fans are likely wondering if their best chance to win it all may have come and gone.

In our own lives, we'll all be presented with better opportunities at times. Sometimes, our best move will simply be to listen and learn instead of jumping into ventures that don't quite fit our skill set.

Whether you're leading the way for others or vice versa, who you team up with (for advice, partnerships, etc.) will ultimately make the difference between making it big, just making it, or being a failure.

You see, I believe the window to succeed for some is always going to be small. Many factors lead to this condition, not the least of which is a habit of turning to the wrong people for advice. One thing I have learned over my years in business - and talking to scores and scores of people - is that individuals all too often base important financial decisions solely on advice from their inner circle. This inner circle is usually comprised of close friends and family, who all too often are completely unqualified to give financial advice.

For others, I believe the window to succeed is quite large. Whether it is staying in one's own lane or challenging oneself to build a new business in an area of tremendous opportunity, there are certain individuals that simply know how to mount a tactical attack strategy that leverages their advantages quicker than others. Plus, these successful folks know all the right people to turn to for advice.

It could be that the Rangers elect to shake things up this offseason. Maybe they won't re-sign their biggest superstar player. Perhaps they'll bring in some new faces, or even trade off existing players that couldn't quite get the job done. All I know from watching sports all my life is that climbing back to the top after coming close is extremely difficult. The same concept applies to our own lives. That's why it's so important to seize each opportunity when it arrives for us.

Income, Income, Income

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: AAPL , INTC , JNJ , LAZ

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