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Of Minyan Spirit


Going it alone isn't a death knell, of course, but it'll likely be a much steeper earning curve.


Inspiration, move me brightly
Light the song with sense and color, hold away despair
More than this I will not ask.
Faced with mysteries dark and vast.

(Grateful Dead)

Earnings season. You gotta love it.

It's not enough that we're all a little A.D.D. to begin with. Toss in a sensory overload environment with an immediate gratification mindset and watch us spin! Yep, four times a year, earnings and expiration collide to provide the perfect storm that serves to inform. From sinners and winners to pickers and grinners, there's a little something for everyone as we roll up our sleeves and dig in our heels.

Last night, after another day of flickering madness, I joined my good pals John Succo and Jeff Saut for a chat and chew. Human capital and friendships are the greatest blessing of Minyanville and they're dividends I've come to embrace. To wit, as we sat down for some mighty fine Italian fare, the savvy soothsayer shared some sage words, particularly as they relate to how we roll in the 'Ville:

"The seventies were the decade of the product. We got out of school, bought our first house, our first car, our first television. We bought stuff. The eighties were the decade of the image. We wanted the bigger house, the boat, the Mercedes Benz. The nineties were the decade of experience. We went to Europe and brought back experiences rather than things. And now, this is the decade of relationships, be it the mechanic, the doctor or the financial advisor. Todd calls this 'community' and we are indeed speaking the same language."

I told Succo that I've wanted to connect him and Saut for many years. To Jeff's point, the "decade of relationships" is forged and furthered when folks who share a common "moral fiber" connect. While we all spent a few days in the mountains together, this particular meld was cut from a different cloth. At times during dinner, as various topics were actively discussed, I found myself sitting back and soaking it in. I'm rarely fascinated but the intelligence and acumen were above and beyond.

  • We spoke about the risks of recession and the monetization of debt. How, to understand where we are, we must appreciate how we've gotten here. No one can debate that the DNA of this "recovery" is vastly different than past upside pushes. The only debate, as we're seeing now, is whether it sustains itself.

  • We talked about how folks are traders at the bottom and investors at the top. I found this nugget of wisdom particularly apt.

  • We touched on the "unnatural tendencies" in the marketplace, drawing a distinction between "being aware" of the world around us and "being branded" as a conspiracy theorist. I offered that the only difference between manipulation and intervention is communication, dangling that distinction for everyone to noodle.

  • We spoke of "where you stand," as a voice or with opinions, being a function of "where you sit."

  • We debated corporatocracy and the deep rooted connections between big business and the Beltway.

  • We chewed through the composition of the Bureau of Labor Statistic numbers and their relevance to the real world.

  • And we talked about how we were going to join forces on December 1 in Manhattan to dive deeper into these topics--and enjoy one of the best meals in the country--to benefit Minyans and children alike.

I've never claimed to be smarter than the next guy but I most certainly believe that we're a reflection of the company we keep. It's a humbling dynamic at times, absorbing the intelligence of the Minyanville community, but I'll maintain that we need to stick together and surround ourselves with complementary skill-sets and people we trust if we're to thrive. Going it alone isn't a death knell, of course, but it'll likely be a much steeper earning curve.

And besides, if you genuinely care about those you choose to call your community, the intangible benefits can be quite beneficial. The purpose of the journey is the journey itself, my friends, and I suppose I'll end this column by thanking you for sharing your journey with us.

Good luck today.


No positions in stocks mentioned.

Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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