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Remembering Bill Meehan

Today, we remember our friend, Bill Meehan, a RealMoney contributor who perished in the World Trade Center attacks five years ago today.

Aside from his work with, Bill was the chief market analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, and his office was on the 105th floor of the World Trade Center's North Tower. He was 49 years old.

Known for his savvy commentary on the financial markets, Meehan gained a worldwide following among investors by explaining the Dow's gyrations in a style that had the color and energy of a vintage Rolling Stone article.

In response to a reader request, we've decided to republish one of Bill's most popular columns, "Instructions for Life," which was originally posted at 10:07 a.m. on Dec. 22, 2000.

Instructions for Life
By Bill Meehan
Special to
Originally posted at 10:07 AM ET 12/22/00 on

Well, it looks as if there's a good chance that Mr. Market might provide a little holiday cheer for the bulls heading into getaway day. Especially if the Fed Head plays Santa Claus early, as was so widely rumored yesterday.

I decided to share some words of wisdom that I received Thursday morning for my final piece of the old millennium. They're purported to be from the Dalai Lama, who's obviously far smarter than I am, and he's unquestionably one of the world's great spiritual leaders. Besides, I'm in full agreement with his "Instructions for Life." Not only that, but my ex-wife tells me that there's an abundance of good karma coming my way if I share them with you within 96 hours.

You, too, might benefit by passing them on to all of your friends, relatives and acquaintances. I wouldn't be surprised if doing so, and also following them, won't improve your personal, professional and spiritual life. Here they are:

Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

Follow the three "R's": Respect for self, respect for others, responsibility for all your actions.

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

Learn the rules, so you know how to break them properly.

Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

Spend some time alone every day.

Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.

Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.

A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.

Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.

Be gentle with the Earth.

Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.

Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

And, I'll end with one (or is it two?) of my own rules:

Concern yourself only with the things you can change, and remember that you can always change how you perceive any difficulties.

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