It’s been said that the two most dangerous words in the English language, when combined, are What and If.
- What if I married her?
- What if I took that job?
- What if I did this, instead of that?
- What if…?
I was tempted to embed a YouTube video of Cher belting out “If I could turn back time…” as she pines over lost opportunities, but I’ll refrain.
Actually, I won’t. For those who need a soundtrack to this post, here you go – Video
But really! What if? What if you actually did something years ago and could have the benefit today? While Marty McFly would argue that’s a real option, there are too many of us reading this that know that the sands of time only flow in one direction.
And that’s the point of this article! There is still an option for each of us. In his recent Annual Letter to Shareholders, Warren Buffett shared a personal story of saving his money from age 6 to 11 and then investing the $114.75 into a commodity service stock. His best estimates revealed it would be worth $606,811 today.
You’re thinking, if only I could put $1,000 into that stock then, I’d be a bazillionaire today, right?
Well, Buffett goes on to talk about optimism in investing in tools like the S&P 500 and avoiding other things that many might think are worthwhile investments, like Gold. He places his confidence in another two-word idea – American Tailwind.
He continues that, for decades to come, there is much more for investors to take hope and determination in. And what, specifically, is he referring to? The people of America that are industrious! The drive you possess to improve and achieve more is this “American Tailwind” he speaks of.
Now, most who will read this were impacted in some way by the recession in 2008. But look at us now! Others will remember the insanely high interest rates of the 80s. But look at us now! Wars, natural disasters, terrorism, political tensions and polarities, and on and on and on. Look at us now!
As merchants, business owners, employees, whatever your station in life is right now, there is a reason to look ahead with optimism. But you have to have a plan and you have to be willing to be part of the American Tailwind, or it will leave you behind.
I wish I could turn back time, sure! I’d have become a pro-snowboarder and bought stock in Microsoft in the 90s. But that will never happen. And, I’m okay with that, because I have the future! A bright future with all the lessons of the past.
So, dig in and stake your claim on the future. Prosperity is yours if you’ll take a step forward and open your mind to new ideas. Stop living in the lost opportunities of the past wishing you could turn back time.
You can do this because the future is as bright as you make it and, as Buffet wrote, “All engendered scary headlines; all are now history.”
Read a summary of the Annual Letter here.
Damon Luke, CEO
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