Cold Beer at Akron
Finding Peace of Mind
A Great Indian Growth Stock
Back in 1944, journalist and playwright Mary Coyle Chase wrote the play "Harvey," which ran on Broadway from 1944 until 1949 and then was adapted into a movie that starred Josephine Hull and James Stewart.
The play won a Pulitzer Prize; Jimmy Stewart scored an Oscar nomination for Best Actor (but didn't win), while Ms. Hull took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
What this has to do with investing, we shall see.
It starts with the phrase "cold beer at Akron," which pops up in the following scene, where Elwood P. Dowd (Jimmy Stewart) has just explained about his best friend Harvey, an invisible six-foot, three-and-a-half-inch-tall rabbit, to Dr. Chumley, the director of the mental institution to which he has just been committed. Elwood has explained that Harvey (technically a pooka) is able to overcome both time and space and take you anywhere in the world for as long as you want. Hearing this, Dr. Chumley explains what he would do with this power.
CHUMLEY: I know where I'd go.
CHUMLEY: I'd go to Akron.
CHUMLEY: There's a cottage camp outside Akron in a grove of maple trees, cool, green, beautiful.
ELWOOD: My favorite tree.
CHUMLEY: I would go there with a pretty young woman, a strange woman, a quiet woman.
ELWOOD: Under a tree?
CHUMLEY: I wouldn't even want to know her name. I would be--just Mr. Brown.
ELWOOD: Why wouldn't you want to know her name? You might be acquainted with the same people.
CHUMLEY: I would send out for cold beer. I would talk to her. I would tell her things I have never told anyone--things that are locked in here. (Beats his breast. ELWOOD looks over at his chest with interest.) And then I would send out for more cold beer.
ELWOOD: No whiskey?
CHUMLEY: Beer is better.
ELWOOD: Maybe under a tree. But she might like a highball.
CHUMLEY: I wouldn't let her talk to me, but as I talked I would want her to reach out a soft white hand and stroke my head and say, "Poor thing! Oh, you poor, poor thing!"
ELWOOD: How long would you like that to go on?
CHUMLEY: Two weeks.
ELWOOD: Wouldn't that get monotonous? Just Akron, beer and "poor, poor thing" for two weeks?
CHUMLEY: No. No, it would not. It would be wonderful.
ELWOOD: I can't help but feel you're making a mistake in not allowing that woman to talk. If she gets around at all, she may have picked up some very interesting little news items. And I'm sure you're making a mistake with all that beer and no whiskey. But it's your two weeks.
CHUMLEY: (Dreamily.) Cold beer at Akron and one last fling! God, man!
ELWOOD: Do you think you'd like to lie down for a while?
CHUMLEY: No. No. Tell me Mr. Dowd, could he--would he do this for me?
ELWOOD. : He could and he might. I have never heard Harvey say a word against Akron.
Traditionally, a pooka (or puca) is a mythical creature of Celtic folklore, encountered in Ireland, the west of Scotland and Wales. Appearing in a variety of forms, from a sleek dark horse with yellow eyes to a small, deformed goblin to a huge hairy bogeyman, it enjoys confusing and often terrifying humans, but it is considered to be more mysterious than dangerous. By coincidence, November Day (November 1, yesterday) is the pooka's day, and the one day of the year when it can be expected to behave civilly.
If you believe in pookas, you can conclude that Elwood P. Dowd is fortunate to have fallen into the graces of a particularly benevolent representative of the species.
More likely, however, is that he is crazy or alcoholic or both, and that can be debated until the cows come home. What is not debatable is that the man is at peace with himself. While other characters in the story anguish over what to do and what not to do in a variety of social and personal situations, Elwood P. Dowd remains above the fray, pleasant, unflappable, unhurried, and a friend to all, willing to lend an ear.
Dr. Chumley, meanwhile, finds real hope in the thought that Harvey might be his ticket to the peace of mind that Elwood so clearly enjoys.
And that's the main point of today's column ... peace of mind, in particular as it relates to successful investing.
Peace of mind helps you to calmly and objectively evaluate the market environment and the opportunities for action ... or inaction.
Peace of mind allows you to remember your long-term goals in investing, and not be sidetracked by peripheral temptations.
Peace of mind allows you to accept failures with equanimity, and then carry on knowing that your system will triumph in the long run.
Peace of mind enables you to look beyond today's headline news and focus on what's really important.
Peace of mind, in short, enables you to stay calm and centered while you employ the tools that make your chosen investing system work.
But how do you find peace of mind?
Some people (perhaps Elwood P. Dowd) find it in alcohol, though there are obvious risks to that route. Some people find it in meditation. Others find it in prayer, therapy, conversation with close friends, walking the dog, helping others, cooking or simply enjoying a cup of fresh-brewed coffee.
Live long enough and you'll likely find peace of mind in the knowledge that your past experiences will help you get through future challenges. After all, history doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes, so what you survived before you will survive again. And the mistakes you make once can teach you what not to do next time.
To make fewer mistakes, however, and to achieve peace of mind through more rapid mastery of the material, I recommend education. In recent months, the bull market has brought us a stream of new readers, many of them inexperienced investors who are simply looking for someone to trust, something to believe in, a route to honest successful investing. If they ask, I tell them I think that we can help, but I tell them they'll succeed sooner and better if they spend some serious time reading and absorbing the lessons found on our Web site under the Education section.
If you suspect a little more education could help you achieve investment success, and in the process bring you the peace of mind that comes from mastery of a subject, I recommend it to you, too.
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Currently, the market is in a correction; last week it began to inflict some pain on some players. But I have peace of mind because I've been here before.
I note the headlines about job losses, the health care bill, pollution controls, GMAC's cash shortage, the H1N1 flu and the corresponding vaccine shortage, our national debt, the continuing credit crunch, the weak dollar (until last week), Barack Obama's falling approval ratings and the continuing trouble in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and--of course--Israel.
I even read with interest a Wall Street veteran's comparison of the current period to 1938 on Wall Street, as well as the similarities to Japan in the 1990s ... the lost decade for the Land on the Rising Sun.
And I say to myself, I've been here before. I know that in time these troubles will either be resolved or fade from view to be replaced by new troubles. And I know that the economy is not the market, and the market is not the stocks I own. I know that I have a choice of what stocks to own. And I know that when nothing is attractive, I can hold cash.
In other words, when it comes to investing, my fate is in my hands.
So, the current market correction means it's time for some caution. It's time to cut losses short and sell weak stocks, working, as always to maintain a portfolio of healthy stocks. You want to own winners, not losers.
It's also time to build a watch list ... of stocks you might want to buy when the correction ends and the main uptrend resumes. That it will resume I have no doubt, and that's because our long-term market timing indicators remain solidly bullish.
So last Friday, while the Dow was dropping 250 points, I took a look at the new highs list. I found 34 stocks, many of them too illiquid and some too stodgy, but one in particular that interests me.
It's Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (RDY), a major Indian pharmaceutical maker whose biggest market is the U.S., which accounts for 35% of revenues. After that comes Western Europe with 26%, India with 17%, Russia and Eastern Europe with 11% and others with 11%.
This is not a hot stock; it's too big and too mature to be a fast grower. But I think Dr. Reddy's focus on generic drugs, which account for 72% of revenues, will pay off big in the years ahead as the health care business pays more attention to cost control. And I think the company's established connections all over Europe and Russia will bring rewards, too. Ideally, it will get more business in China and other Asian countries, but that will be a harder sell.
The stock earned an appearance in Cabot Top Ten Report back on September 28, when it was trading at 20, and here's some of what editor Michael Cintolo wrote.
"The big potential here comes from a very long launching pad. RDY peaked at 19 in April 2006, and was stopped there again in 2007 and 2008. It bottomed at 7 in the bear market, and then climbed back up to 17, where it built a tidy little base. But it blasted out of that base two weeks ago, and walked right through the old resistance level of 19, so now there's no upside limit to its potential. The buyers are in complete control. You could join them now ... or wait for a pullback."
At the time, Mike recommended buying between 18 and 21, and there have been plenty of opportunities to do that over the past month. But last Thursday the stock broke out to a new high, and then on Friday, as I was conducting my search, it ran higher still.
Technically, you could buy it here; the chart is positive. But ideally, you'll want to wait for a lower-risk entry point, particularly since the broad market is now less supportive.
Yours in pursuit of wisdom and wealth,
Cabot Wealth Advisory
Editor's Note: The average one-month annualized return of stocks featured in Cabot Top Ten Report through September 28 is a cool 38.9%. And the one-month annualized return of stocks featured in Cabot Top Ten Report from the March market bottom through September 28 is a stunning 76.3%. And there's more where that came from! Cabot Top Ten Report recommends the top stocks each week, ensuring that you're getting into the market's big winners, like Dr. Reddy's Laboratories. Click below to see how you can start profiting today.