“The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” Most of us know the story of Chicken Little who ran around warning the barnyard of impending doom. We all know people who are that way. There’s a Chicken Little inside each of us.
As I stated earlier, the cynic is really a little chicken. We all get a little chicken when fear and doubt cloud our thoughts. All of us have doubts: “I’m not smart.” “I’m not good enough.” “So-and-so is better than me.” Our doubts often paralyze us. We play the “What if?” game. “What if the economy crashes right after I invest?” “What if I lose control and I can’t pay the money back?” “What if things don’t go as I planned?” Or we have friends or loved ones who will remind us of our shortcomings. They often say, “What makes you think you can do that?” “If it’s such a good idea, how come someone else hasn’t done it?” “That will never work. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” These words of doubt often get so loud that we fail to act. A horrible feeling builds in our stomach. Sometimes we can’t sleep. We fail to move forward. So we stay with what is safe, and opportunities pass us by. We watch life passing by as we sit immobilized with a cold knot in our body. We have all felt this at one time in our lives, some more than others.
When violence breaks out in a city, gun sales go up all over the country. A person dies from rare hamburger meat in the state of Washington, and the Arizona Health Department orders restaurants to have all beef cooked well-done. A drug company runs a TV commercial in February showing people catching the flu. Colds go up as well as sales of cold medicine.
Most people are poor because, when it comes to investing, the world is filled with Chicken Littles running around yelling, “The sky
is falling! The sky is falling!” And Chicken Littles are effective, because every one of us is a little chicken. It often takes great courage to not
let rumors and talk of doom and gloom affect your doubts and fears. But a savvy investor knows that the seemingly worst of times is actually the best of times to make money. When everyone else is too afraid to act, they pull the trigger and are rewarded.