Our family tradition is to express our appreciation to special people on these Thanksgiving Holidays. To communicate our gratitude for a particular person or event that has enriched our lives this past year. In this way, we honor the Tradition of the early New England Pilgrims and others throughout this country who would take a moment to remember the blessings of a recent harvest and a bountiful year.
This year I am incredibly grateful for the Internet and all the people I’ve met traveling this high-tech highway. I use the term Internet in the broadest sense. After all, the Internet encompasses so many subcategories.
The Internet is, of course, the world wide web, with its ability to communicate with a global community. The hosts store and transmit the written, spoken, and visual words. And most importantly, it is multiple terminals, Laptops, Desktops, and smartphones that are our connection to this electronic world.
It brings me great pleasure, and it is a high honor to share some thoughts with you daily. Remarkably, you and I can exchange our views and opinions. It is a connection that no other generation has enjoyed.
Thanks to all my readers and listeners for inviting me into your life.
In our free flow of ideas, we reach the highest level of human expression. It’s no accident that James Madison and the Continental Congress made Speech, Free Speech, a centerpiece of the 1787 Constitution.
For 235 years, this dedication to freedom of expression has helped create this great nation. It is no accident that those countries that have oppressed free speech have often fallen and failed. The dictator who allows no descent and the oligarchs who stifle the opposition most often decline. Their decline often occurred because they would not listen to the “other side.”
Here, at the ValueSide, we have learned that there are inevitably two sides, and sometimes more, to the issues in money and finance. Bear markets tend to cleanse personal excesses. In my years in the market, I’ve seen many “Empire Builders” come and go. The stock trader newsletter that fails, the Go-Go Funds that faded into non-existence, the “dot coms” that were here and then gone.
Today, we are seeing the same. We watch, in real-time, as a Crypto Titan declines or a social media site wanes. Just a few years ago, most could not envision a time of high inflation. Today, it’s hard to see when inflation will diminish.
Finance has a unique perspective. From our perch, we can see the mighty and the great. But most importantly, we can see that which endures. Almost daily, we see the Wall Street flash, the wunderkind feted and applauded, only to fall into disgrace. But we also see those who have mastered the discipline, who build lasting value, the Peter Lynch, Jeremy Grantham, and John Bogle of this world.
All were successful on their terms. Their ideas often clashed with conventional wisdom. Bogle, in particular, found resistance to his concept of passive investments. Bogle was the founder of the Vanguard funds. In comparison, most thought Peter Lynch was woefully out of date with his fundamental investing. Lynch was the Manager of the Magellan Fund, the most successful mutual fund of all time.
Every day on the Street is new. These three, Lynch, Grantham, and Bogle, are the kind you can also find on Wall Street if you take the time to look. They all came from a world without sacred cows and unquestioned ideas.
America’s financial system only works because everyone can express their views. It’s a freedom of speech that comes from the fundamental American Tradition. And it is the keystone to the nation’s endurance.
Thanks to all of you for joining me as we explore this storied thoroughfare, Wall Street. It’s just a couple of blocks long, but worldwide.
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I’ll take a few days off and will see you back on Monday.