But I played anyway. The stock eventually ran up to $80 a share.
The point is, while the casino is rigged, it's still a bet on a growing economy. Most of these horses come in, sooner or later. Even with the meltdowns of 2000 and 2008, most investors who didn't panic have made out OK.
That's not true for the speculators, for those who plunged on
(AIG - Get Report)
in 2006. But it tends to even out and, at these levels, AIG doesn't look too bad.
I'm no great shakes as an investment adviser. I managed to lose money on
(AAPL - Get Report)
. I bought it too soon and sold it just as Steve Jobs walked back in. I have sometimes bought the wrong railroad, and I bought a global mutual fund just before the market crashed.
But when you bet on these markets, you're betting on America. I think that's a good bet, for 2013 and beyond. I see energy supplies increasing, I see renewable energy putting a floor under prices, and I see a host of new technologies coming to market over the next few years that will just amaze you.
I think now is a great time to put money to work, even in a rigged casino. Knowing I've been wrong before, that my timing isn't the best, I try to bet on solid companies with a track record of treating all their constituents -- including their employees -- with the same respect as their shareholders.
While it would be great to see a few more cops in the suites, knowing that the broken windows theory holds as true for the rich as it does for the poor, I still believe this market is a great place to be, and that things are going to be all right.
At the time of publication, the author was long GE, IBM, KO, AFL, AIG, and AAPL.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.