Last Wednesday after the Dow had rallied 619.07 points over dinner a trader said to me, “I knew it was going to bounce. I shoulda bought.”
“Really?” I asked him, “You knew it was going to bounce?
“So you weren’t like the majority of Wall Streeters who were hiding under their desks waiting for the entire shoe store to collapse? You weren’t one of those guys who had known all along that China’s cards would fold?” I asked.
I’ve heard it all before. Everyone knew Yahoo was over-valued in 2000, just not in ’99.
By the time the credit bubble burst in 2008 I was uncomfortably sitting in a distressed investing seat listening to the many people tell me it was obvious all along.
Obvious, right. That’s why John Paulson was turned away by hundreds of the “smartest” investors and he was among a small number of naysayers who bet with conviction.
In Winning Jack Welch wrote, “We’ve all been guilty at one point or another in our careers of boasting of perfect hindsight. It’s a terrible sin. If you don’t make sure your questions and concerns are acted upon, it doesn’t count.”
The same is true in life.
That job that you didn’t take that would have made you a fortune.
That bet you didn’t make on yourself that would have transformed your life.
That time you just knew you should do something, but you didn’t take the action.
None of that counts.
You might one day be sitting around the kitchen table telling your grandkids how you could have done this or that or been so and so.
You might think that sounds impressive but like you would look at your pop’s they will be looking at you thinking—But you didn’t do it, did you?