The More You Fail the More You Learn

No one is perfect and as hard as I try I still make mistakes.  Even when practicing what I preach about discipline and patience concerning investing and such.  I fell into my own trap last week not once but twice!  What happened?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

First, let’s talk about investing.  Patience is the key to making money in the stock market.  People talk about hitting it big on some buy then sell stock and I am sure they do make money.  Of course, they never talk about losing money, which happens more often than winning.  There is no timing the market, only the ability to buy solid, money-making stocks that then slowly appreciate over the long haul making you money. 

Last week I did something stupid and bought several hundred shares of Hertz.  Yep, that Hertz, the one that just went bankrupt!  Now I knew partially it was a gamble because betting on stocks is like gambling at times.  The stock was super cheap and I could afford the loss, but I wanted to see if over time, a very long time, if it could potentially pay off.  The issue is the guilt I felt after the purchase.  I knew it was risky and stupid and yet I did it anyway and honestly I hate losing money.  With Hertz in bankruptcy plus issuing another million shares, the value will tank even more with the chance of being worthless.  If you feel guilty buying stock against your own personal investing principals, then you should never have bought in the first place.  I feel like a total rookie.

Second stupid mistake, and I have done this one once before!  Having nothing to do with investing and everything to do with common sense, my girlfriend, daughter, and I went out exploring in the Sierra Mountains last week.  We were looking for a hidden cove on a lake so that we could pull out our inflatable kayak and have some fun.  Well, the thing with lake coves is the soft sand and I got us stuck in the middle of nowhere.  BUT WAIT out of total chance and luck there was a couple camping nearby and after getting a ride to a local town 40 minutes away, we came back with tow ropes and got out with their help. 

The thing is I did this once before 2 years ago.  That time though it was in the rain, in a lake cove and fortunately within cell service.  Calling for help ended up costing me $1000 to have a snowcat come pull me out.  You would think I would have learned my lesson right?  Especially when I hate losing money….$1000 gone for my stupidity.

So here is the overall lesson and I was reminded by my youngest daughter.  The other day she was trying to learn something and I asked her how it was going?  She stated, “Dad, I keep failing but the more I fail the more I learn”.  I almost teared up when she said that because I have been preaching that to them since they were young.  Basically that statement put my two mistakes above into perspective.

Mistakes will be made, no matter how successful or positive a person is and that is okay.  Learning from your mistakes (and sharing them) are the best way to learn in life.  Hopefully, I have learned my lesson.


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