It was quite a scary weekend with all the anti-U.S.
protests/violence making headlines. The markets didn't appear too
concerned with the news, but I would not discount the situation one
bit. The potential for volatility is there for investors, so a
prudent approach to putting capital to work is extremely necessary.
The markets did come off of earlier lows on news the U.S. could
look to tap oil reserves in an effort to bring down spiking oil
There weren't any particular themes playing out during the day,
but we did see Wall Street analyst moves having a bit of an impact.
Positive commentary had shares of Moody's (
) and Apple (
) moving higher for much of the session. On the flip side, stocks
like Cliffs Natural Resources (
), Hasbro (
), and Valero Energy (
) all saw red on cautious analyst comments. There is a bit of
concern that commodity stocks may have gotten a bit too over-heated
during last week's QE3 headlines.
No One Stepped Up
Being a New York Jets fan, I went into this weekend's game with
the mindset the game would likely be a loss, since three key
players were not able to suit up. The logic made sense, and this
was despite their opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers missing two of
their key players as well. Having been a long suffering fan of the
Jets, it is almost a certainty there would be no gut-check moment
in games like this for a team that does have some decent talent
(all the Tim Tebow controversy notwithstanding). They have a cocky
coach - Rex Ryan, who is quick to make his feelings felt on how
great his team is and how prepared they are week-in and
There I was, like Charlie Brown approaching the football that
Lucy promised she would not pull away, shutting off my computer and
deciding to watch the game until it was out of reach for the Jets
to win. The game was looking good for the first quarter and a half,
but that was about it. The Steelers took charge near the end of the
first half and shut the Jets down completely in the second half. I
took the bait and was expecting the team would have a gut check
moment, but to no avail. All the talk about the depth of the team
in the days leading up to the game, and guess what - no one stepped
up. No one!
It's amazing how being a Jet fan and dealing with disappointment
year after year is sort of what scores of people feel like when
they look at how their own professional, personal, and financial
aspects of their life are going. You come into work to the same job
you wish you would have left years ago, but are too unmotivated to
go out and find something better. You talk to your family about
money and responsibility and yet, you find yourself repeating the
obvious solutions and remedies over and over again, only to see
heads nodding in agreement and no one really grasping the severity
of the problems they will soon face or are facing already. Finally,
you look at your financial picture and see no advancement, but yet
don't make the changes necessary to stem the tide of red ink.
Whether it is from spending too much when you get those "only live
once" thoughts or not making the sacrifices needed to be able to
start compiling assets that build income.
The reality for most of us is that we will see plenty of
examples in our inner circle (family, friends, co-workers, etc.)
who will never quite step up and show us they are going to
over-achieve. Going along the same path is too easy for most to
continue repeating. There will be plenty of starts and stops,
moments you are gearing up for a different outcome, only to realize
the DNA to actually step up and surprise the world remains missing
The mindset to win in sports is often decided before the game is
even played. Some teams can overcome and show a resiliency while
others buckle right at the point you expect them to. There will be
a moment when things will change for the Jets, I really believe it,
just as I believe there will be those special few around us that
will surprise us beyond our imaginations. For the majority, the
time for action will inevitably come too late, but if just one or
two decide to step up, it can be something that lasts for
generations to come. Just as fans can tell when the destiny of an
organization changes, most often when that special player comes
along and raises the bar when it comes to having the will to win,
we too will recognize the difference-maker that affects our lives.
It may be that we ourselves need to be that person, and if it is,
so be it. If you can't believe in yourself, who else should?
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.
Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the
Best Dividend Stocks
, as well as a detailed explanation of
our ratings system here