"Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful." That is one of my favorite quotes, and I think it is particularly relevant today. It is from the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, a man who knows a thing or two about the markets.
This morning, I turned on my laptop and when the Yahoo! home page popped up, there were three headlines greeting me. The first read "American's Feeling Anxious," followed by a quick summary and a quote from inside the story that said simply, "kind of scary."
Under it were two related stories. The first was titled "Candidates Scramble to Respond." The other read: "Will AIG Cost Taxpayers Money?" Watching television last night, it's all anybody talked about. Anybody who is breathing knows that the markets have gone in the tank this week.
There is blood in the streets everywhere. It's one of those rare moments where talk of the markets supersedes all else in mainstream America. People are scared. They remember what happened at companies like Enron and many don't fully understand what is going on in the markets today. They worry about their savings, about their retirement.
Monday we saw the worst single-day loss since 9/11. We started off the week by watching the
fall by about 500 points following news of bankruptcy at
Bank of America's
and a bailout of
Despite the market's horrendous day, I was still able to grab a $1,000 win with
. I picked the company on Friday. It filled on Monday. It won on Wednesday. It's that simple. When others were running for cover, I was enjoying the spoils of victory.
Tuesday we saw a bit of a reprieve only to get another punch in the face on Wednesday as the Dow fell by another 4%, shedding almost 450 points to sink to 10,610. In three days, that's a net loss of more than 800 points. Clearly none of this is good news and people will lose their jobs; many people will take a financial hit or lose their savings.
It's not that I am unsympathetic. I feel for those people and I don't envy their position. That said, look to the quote I started off this column with. The markets went down and for good reason. There was bad news. But mixed in there is selling from fear. People are panicking. Will the markets rebound today? Maybe, maybe not. That's not the point. The point is that when people trade on emotions and not facts, they make mistakes.
There are plenty of good companies that have been dragged down as people scramble for cover. People are fearful, so it's time to be a bit greedy.
Always remember: Life is a journey, enjoy the ride!
Lenny Dykstra manages the "Nails on the Numbers" newsletter service for TheStreet.com. One winning stock pick is enough to pay for an annual subscription to "Nails on the Numbers." (Click here for a free trial.)
At the time of publication, Dykstra had no positions in stocks mentioned.
Nicknamed 'Nails' for his tough style of play, Lenny is a former Major League Baseball player for the 1986 World Champions, New York Mets and the 1993 National League Champions, Philadelphia Phillies. A three time All-Star as a ballplayer, Lenny now serves as president for several privately held businesses in Southern California. He is the founder of The Players Club; it has been his desire to give back to the sport that gave him early successes in life by teaching athletes how to invest and protect their incomes. He currently manages his own portfolio and writes an investment strategy column for TheStreet.com, and is featured regularly on CNBC and other cable news shows. Lenny was selected as OverTime Magazine's 2006-2007 "Entrepreneur of the Year."