Investors stepped up to buy this morning's early dip, and eventually were able to turn the indices flat to slightly higher by the close.
A better-than-expected pending home sales number added some investor confidence into the mix today. We also had earnings results from home improvement giant Lowe's ( LOW ) beating analyst estimates this morning. Meanwhile, Wall Street analyst upgrades provided other pockets of strength to help lift shares back up. Names affected positively on those calls included Eaton Corp ( ETN ), Walt Disney ( DIS ), and Tyco International ( TYC ). On the flipside, a negative call on several oil service plays had companies like Halliburton ( HAL ) and Baker Hughes ( BHI ) trading down.
If You Won on a Technicality, Did You Really Win?
Baseball fans out there have probably been following the failed drug test controversy surrounding Milwaukee Brewers outfielder and 2011 National League MVP Ryan Braun. Braun, 28, failed a Major League Baseball-administered drug test for "elevated level of testosterone caused by a performance-enhancing drug" back in October 2011. Braun appealed the test result and accompanying 50-game suspension.
Late last week, the story took on even bigger headlines as an independent arbitrator overturned the suspension. Why the reversal? Simply because the protocol for submitting Braun's urine sample was not exactly followed. Supposedly, the person administering the test didn't know FedEx was open on Saturday night and didn't mail the sample away until Monday. There was no evidence that the sample was even tampered with, and the failed test showed 30 times the normal amount of testosterone in Braun's system (which could only be the case if it was taken synthetically via steroids or other PEDs).
Ryan Braun held a press conference this past Friday declaring his innocence, grateful his name had been "cleared." Whether you believe he was guilty or not, Ryan Braun feels vindicated and that is all that matters in his mind. Of course, there's a difference between being found "not guilty" on a technicality and actually being "innocent."
As an investor, I ask you: if you look for a technicality as to why you aren't maximizing your investing returns, are you really in the right? Maybe you feel the markets are too volatile, or stocks are overvalued. Or maybe you don't want to risk your money because of other financial obligations. Or perhaps you've just plain neglected putting your money to work on a regular basis. Whatever your excuse is, I urge you to avoid looking for technicalities and take responsibility for your financial well-being.
In Ryan Braun's case, legally, the decision was the only one to be made. The protocol wasn't followed, so he was let off the hook. For investors, we can all find hundreds of "technical" reasons why we aren't maximizing our investing potential at any given time. How often, though, will those decisions be correct over the long-term? If you think postponing your investments is a good thing in the end, you're probably just fooling yourself.
Who or What Will Be Your Trigger?
There comes a time in one's life when a person, event, or emotion can be the ultimate cause for one to take action. Some of the most famous entrepreneurs of all time have said that getting fired or laid off from their job was what inspired them to take their future into their own hands. Others have pointed to the untimely demise of someone with a promising future as a catalyst for their own achievements. The point is, once the fear of failure has been eliminated, it's much easier to start chasing a dream.
There doesn't have to be any one specific moment to inspire you, either. We've all experienced many key points in our lives that have led to where we're at now. Moments that may seem trivial at the time can quietly become a turning point to change our fortunes.
If you have had any of these moments, I urge you to share them with those around you. I love to tell my kids stories of my younger days that inspired or led me to achieve success. Remember, we were all young once! It's so funny to see kids react to any revelations you give them. In a way, it sometimes brings your relationship even closer.
As you go about your future years, keep these memories present and encourage those around you who may be still trying to figure things out. Who knows? Maybe a simple conversation with a loved one will inspire them to take their own steps to find success.
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I hope everyone had a chance to check out our Dividend.com Premium 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!
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