The informal sectors of the world’s economies are predominant, and the institutionalized, monetized sectors grow out of them and rest upon them, rather than the reverse.
– Hazel Henderson
Along with the mashed potatoes, one great feature of the US Thanksgiving holiday is that it gives us time for reflection, for gratitude. Time to recognize the foundation upon which our investments – and our lives – rest.
So much of my time as an investor has been spent examining the “leaves on the trees,” poring over financial statements with a magnifying glass. This can be useful, sure, but it’s even better when combined with an understanding of the whole forest, looking at the entire economy or the whole stock market.
The wise Hazel Henderson quote above notes that even this view of the forest was woefully incomplete – the real questions are, what’s happening at the roots? How healthy is the soil? What about the water, and the weather? This bigger-picture view might not fit neatly on a spreadsheet, but it is the most important indicator of long term success.
Whatever you see before you this Thanksgiving, try zooming out.
A little further.
Now what do you see?
Every investor needs to step back now and then. Waaaaay back. Put down your magnifying glass, and gaze at the sky.
Hazel’s vision and multidimensional talents also extend to poetry – you can see video of a recent reading she gave here.