“The story teller makes no choice; soon you will not hear his voice. His job is to shed light and not to master.”
– Grateful Dead
Todd Harrison: Social Mood 101: Offering financial insights and opinions (for free) during the most dynamic decade in the history of financial markets — and more often than not, helping to map our forward path — only to be criticized by those who are either uninformed or disenchanted to the point that they need to vent in an acrimonious manner.
I’ve got thick skin; it comes with the territory. I didn’t mind that my book didn’t perform the way I expected but I’ll take solace in the fact that I took the high road when writing it. I’m sure I would have sold more copies if I sullied other people’s reputations, shared certain stories or exposed pundits for who they are and what they did, but that’s never been my style. I leave it on the field each day, toss the ball back to the mound and jog back to the dugout, while feeling an immense amount of gratitude for being able to do what I love with people I respect while serving the greater good.
It is, however, becoming increasingly difficult to be “out there,” whether it’s on Yahoo Finance, Bloomberg Television or through syndicated outlets like amNY and Dow Jones. What’s often lost in discussion is the notion of “time and price,” the responsibility we each share and the need to remain dynamic in how we approach this ever-changing environment. This is not your grandfather’s stock market anymore; heck, it may not even be our stock market anymore, but we have two choices: be part of the solution, or part of the problem.
My motivation is simple: I want to leave a better world for my kids. That’s not some marketing tag-line; if it were, I would have hung up my cleats many moons ago with a lot more cash in the bank. No, it’s a mission to effect positive change through financial understanding, from the ABC’s to the 401(k)s. Is there an economic motivation involved? Absolutely; I have loyal investors and outside of my family, rewarding them is my number-one priority. But I know this: Chasing the bottom line, in and of itself, is no way to go through life; take it from me, there is a huge difference between having fun and being happy, and between net-worth and self-worth.
I don’t often go on tangents but sometimes you gotta set the record straight. In a digital world where all opinions are public domain, I don’t expect everyone to like what we do or even how we do it, but I can unequivocally say this: We believe we are on a benevolent mission. We believe we are making a difference. And we believe that if you do the right thing long enough, people will eventually pay attention.