Thanks for cleaning my shell after you borrow it, bro!
• Thanks first go to my wife. When I left my job unexpectedly (actual conversation: "Hi honey, how was your day?" "Great. I left my job today. What's for dinner?") she really didn't bat an eyelash. When I launched my business to try to make sure there was at least one voice for investors free of the conflicts of interest that plague our industry, she was supportive. Most of all, I'm thankful she thinks she's the lucky one for marrying me and argues with me every time I point out how silly an idea that is.
• I'm thankful to the individual investor who toils hard every day to add some small percentage of their income to a retirement account or trading account. I am discouraged at what low disregard our industry has for these people given the fact their contributions are what drives our business. Recall the scene at your Thanksgiving table. All that material wealth was made possible by them. Either you are dependent on the money they invest or you are dependent on them performing their tasks to increase the fundamental value of the companies you invest in. Either way, they deserve far more respect and loyalty than this business currently offers.
• I'd like to thank Alan, my business partner. He's an enormously bright guy who is self-deprecating to a fault.
• As I've mentioned, we had a terrible year this year - especially May to August. I'm thankful for all the e-mails from my Subscribers pointing out that's the nature of our sector. Sometimes the losses string themselves together.
• I want to thank Todd (again) for inviting me to the Minyanville community. It's a pretty cool place to hang out.
• I want to thank the former students of my Business Communications class at the University of Washington - Bothell. I came in as a newbie professor and left as the top rated instructor in the program according to their reviews. That's an incredible compliment and I'm very humbled by it. I told them on the first day that taking my class would provide a competitive advantage in the real world. What I didn't realize is the process of teaching them to be better writers and presenters would give back so much to me. I'm sorry internal politics made it impossible to continue what we started together.
• I'm thankful to my cats - no, really! Ellie's regular spot on my lap throughout the trading day is an incredibly calming influence. As I've written here before, there is nothing to take the edge off a trade going bad than a well-timed purr or head butt from a feline. Yeah, her vet bills are ginormous but if I factor everything in - her P&L is firmly in the black.
• I'm thankful to my mother-in-law. When my mom died in 1990 she came up to me and made it clear in the most special way I was not mom-less. When my dad died in 2003, she made it clear that I was not an orphan. As those events recede in time, I gain appreciation for the comfort her words have given me.
• I thank the courageous patients who enter clinical trials so that we may learn to cure the diseases they suffer from. Only 2% of Americans enroll in a clinical trial. I wish more would. While there is no guarantee the new drug will work any better, you will always receive better care as a patient in a clinical trial than you otherwise might. You see the doctor more often and any side effects you might experience are given a level of attention rarely found outside of the trial format.
• I travel a lot these days. Thanks to the airline, ground transport, eatery, and hotel employees who remember that sunny dispositions during our brief contact with each other can literally make an entire trip.
• I thank everyone who participates in programs to provide Christmas presents to underprivileged kids. There are few times where a pittance to you or I can create lasting joy in a child and these holiday programs are one of those times. When you see the Giving Trees in the mall or hear the toy drive radio ads, take a moment and a few dollars and bring some joy to a child's life.
• Finally, thanks to all my fellow Minyans for the kind words you have said and sent to me in the few months I have been writing here. You are very kind.
I hope your leftover food is just abundant enough, but your leftover memories are pleasant and overabundant this Holiday season.
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