Not that optimistic about optimism

“If I could ask only one question regarding each investment I had under consideration, it would be simple: How much optimism is factored into the price?” — Mastering The Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side by Howard Marks

Maybe I’m a cynic…

But I fear optimism is overrated.

Unlike true faith (which is grounded on solid evidence), the optimist reminds me of making cotton candy.

You get a little sugar and food coloring and whip it up with some hot air and before you know it it appears you have a boatload of delicious candy, when in reality all you have is a bag of wispy empty calories.

I witness this cotton candy optimism far more than I’d like.

You know the type…

…perky, upbeat people who have been talking to themselves about how great they are and visualizing all the great things they are going to do or going to get based on some sort of vague hope that God is going to work a miracle, somebody is going to pull a rabbit out of a hat for them, and their ship is going to come sailing into the harbor loaded down with all kinds of exciting treasures and opportunities.

Hey, I know…occasionally someone does actually win the lottery and lightning does occasionally strike twice in the same place.

But I’ve observed that the best strategy is just to get up each day — rain or shine — and give your best with what you’ve got to work with, make the wisest decisions you know to make, deliver more than is expected, and be honest without fail, and then let the results unfold as they will.

It’s amazing how often that “meat and potato” living beats cotton candy fluff over the long haul.

The ONE THING for today: Don’t misunderstand me, I’d much rather hang out with an optimist than a pessimist. But if I had my choice, I want to hang out with the guy or gal who just gets it done.