my best friend took me surfing at newport beach in high school. it did not take long for a wave to come crashing down. i was taken under the water. there, the wave made my surfboard a weapon. a weapon against me. the board smashed my head and cut my back. gnarly. in that moment, i learned the power of a wave.
waves are everywhere in life. while they may not be of the aquatic nature, they are important to understand. waves often occur in the economy. housing, investing, and employment. there are housing busts and booms and stock market busts and booms. there are times when anybody can get a job. there are times when it is impossible to get a job. .
the consequences of hitting a wave at the optimal time has a biblical example. the parting of the red sea illustrates the before and after of waters at their peak. moses and the children of israel caught the waters at their peak. with that situation, they had clear and path toward freedom and avoiding capture. for the egyptian army, however, catching the waters coming down was a disaster. the waters dropping led to a failed mission and death.
in our lives, we would like to hit the waves at their peak and take advantage of it. the term
“buy low and sell high” best illustrates it. it is truly a challenge to be the one on the ground floor and have the wave carry one up. thus, one must live life looking for these moments. there are times to look for jobs, times to buy a house, or times to invest. likewise, there are times to avoid such activities and stay put.
recently, with the housing market, there were those who got stuck buying right before the prices significantly dropped. “under water” is ironically the term used for people whose loan obligation is greater than the value of the home.
thus, timing is ever so important. there is a time to get in and a time to get out. likewise, there is a time not to act. with all of these waves, there are always the “geniuses.” when a market is going up, everyone is a “genius.” when a market finally crashes, they disappear.
losing out with one wave should not place someone in too much distress, however. sometimes, with time, markets are able to recover. individuals with the time and patience may be able to ride out a crashing wave. [comment: this, however, is not the case with individual stocks. businesses can collapse and never recover.]
in sum, an important part of one’s life is to be aware of these waves and understand how to ride them into success. i thank the master of the universe that newport beach was one of few waves that crashed upon me in my life.
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