These three events, while all marriage-related, were decidedly different.
The engagement, which came first, was elaborate, fancy and a big surprise. My roommate, who is a teacher at a local high school, was whisked away in a limo on the night of her school's senior prom that she was chaperoning. She and her now-fiancé were taken to a yacht in Boston Harbor where they were served a delicious meal as they cruised around. The actual proposal happened at the bow of the boat as the sun was setting. Then my roommate and her fiancé went to the prom and danced the night away.
My roommate and I are the same age and while she is ready for marriage, I am not quite there yet. Most of my friends are not engaged or married, but a few are and for them, that's what feels right. So while I'm not ready to take the plunge, I can appreciate that one of my good friends is ready.
Doing Things Your Own Way
The first wedding I attended last weekend was supposed to be a 30th birthday party for a friend at a gorgeous location overlooking the city of Boston and the Charles River. During the celebration, the mayor of Cambridge was introduced and she married two of my friends in a surprise ceremony. Everyone knew they were engaged, but no one, except them, knew they were going to get married that day.
It was a sweet, civil ceremony and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. We celebrated with a cruise of our own around Boston Harbor. In a true twist, it was disclosed that the groom had planned the entire wedding. The couple did not receive gifts or have wedding attendants. There weren't any formal invitations or a white dress. What the couple did have was their dearest friends and family witnessing their lifelong commitment to each other.
The next day, I attended the wedding of a longtime family friend in scenic Saratoga Springs, New York. The groom is Jewish and the bride is Catholic and they did a beautiful job weaving together the two traditions. A priest and a rabbi stood together under a Chuppah and married the couple in a small ceremony. (There was even a "priest and a rabbi walk into a bar ... " joke thrown in.)
The wedding was traditional in the sense that there were flowers everywhere, a gorgeous white dress and a lot of wedding attendants. But it was smaller and more intimate than most weddings I've attended. There were about 60 guests, making it possible for the couple to truly spend some time with each one.
You're probably wondering where I'm going with this, but bear with me for a bit longer. The lesson I took from these three very different but very beautiful commitments of love was this: Everyone has to do things in their own time and way. If you find your belief system and stick to it, things will turn out better in the end.
My roommate who got engaged is young but ready for marriage, bucking the trend of most of my generation. My friends who had a surprise ceremony didn't bend to society's idea of what a wedding should be like. Instead they listened to their hearts and did things on their own terms. The other couple that got married did not alter their differing belief systems, but rather combined them to form their union.
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Follow Your Beliefs
The lesson I learned, finding your belief system and sticking to it, reminded me of something we talk about a lot at Cabot. We often discuss how important it is to find the investing system that best suits you and to follow it carefully. Many of the mistakes investors make come from not following a system and making haphazard decisions.
At Cabot, we primarily focus on growth investing and specifically on a system that has been developed and used to produce incredible gains for 38 years. This system advocates: Investing in fast-growing companies; buying stocks that are outperforming the market; using market timing; diversification; cutting losses short; and letting winners run.
We've applied this system to the emerging markets and Green sector in recent years with outstanding results. These areas can be a bit more risky but the rewards can be greater as well.
Momentum investing is even faster-paced than growth investing, and is perfect for investors who like to watch their stocks very closely. These stocks can go up quickly and can come down just as fast, so attention must be paid. Despite the risk, it's a rewarding and exciting system to follow.
Value investors prefer to buy undervalued stocks and hold them for longer periods of time. This system is better for investors who don't wish to watch their stocks constantly and it works well in any market conditions.
If you're not sure yet which system is best for you, that's OK. But it's important to find an investing system and follow it because this will help you yield the best results possible.
Having a system helps investors avoid getting too emotionally attached to their stocks. It also ensures that you have a plan in place when things go sour and that you buy stocks at the proper price, all while feeling comfortable with the decisions you're making because you picked the system that best suits you.
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In case you didn't get a chance to read all the issues of Cabot Wealth Advisory this week and want to catch up on any investing and stock tips you might have missed, we have links below to each issue.
Cabot Wealth Advisory 6/9/08 - Frequently Asked Investing Questions
In Monday's issue of Cabot Wealth Advisory, Michael Cintolo answered many of our most frequently asked investing questions. Among Mike's investing tips were: cut losses short, search for strong sales and earnings and heed the message of the overall market. Click the link below to read the full issue.
Cabot Wealth Advisory 6/12/08 - Being Green by Accident
In Thursday's issue of Cabot Wealth Advisory, Brendan Coffey introduced himself to readers and wrote about being Green even when you think you're not. Brendan featured a Chinese biodiesel stock that was first in Cabot Green Investor and has been making gains. Stock featured in this issue: Gushan Environmental Energy (NYSE: GU). Click the link below to read the full issue.
Cabot Wealth Advisory 6/13/08 - Hold Winning Stocks and Cut Losses Short
In Friday's issue of Cabot Wealth Advisory, Timothy Lutts wrote about one of the most important investing lessons-letting winners run and cutting losses short. Many investors often disobey this rule, leaving them with a portfolio of losing stocks. Tim used Novatel Wireless (a losing stock that had to be cut) and First Solar (a winning stock that's been allowed to run) to illustrate his point. Stocks featured in this issue: Novatel Wireless (Nasdaq: NVTL) and First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR). Click the link below to read the full issue.
Editor's Note: A couple of weeks ago I went to Washington, D.C., for a few days to attend the Specialized Information Publishers Association annual conference. The foundation associated with the organization held an awards ceremony during one of the luncheons and Cabot was honored during the event. Timothy Lutts, Cabot's publisher, accepted the award for Best Investment Advisory Product and 2008 Editorial Excellence Award on behalf of Cabot China & Emerging Markets Report and its editor, Paul Goodwin.
The Report was selected for both its editorial style and its enormous gains in the last few years, with returns of 78.6% in 2006 and 74.1% in 2007, according to Hulbert Financial Digest. The Report has maintained its #1 ranking for the year ended May 31, with a gain of 108.7%.
Cabot China & Emerging Markets Report has achieved such returns because of Paul's use of Cabot's time-tested growth stock picking system and market timing indicators. Congratulations to Paul and the Cabot team!
Until Next Time,
Editor of Cabot Wealth Advisory
P.S. As always, I invite you to send us any comments, suggestions or questions via email or the Cabot Forum, http://www.cabot.net/forum