My beautiful wife was in a panic

Christian DeHaemer

Posted January 11, 2024

The Dogs are Out

My beautiful wife was in a panic.  “The dogs got out,” she shouted.

“Oh, crap,” I thought.  “That’s bad.”

Our fence was old and rotting away.  We had been in this house for ten years and wood had given away to soggy mush.  I had been patching it up here and there with chicken wire but it needed to be replaced.

Last night was the final straw.  The wind was blowing a full gale and it rained for hours.  The  curvy brunette on WJZ said there were flood warnings in coastal areas and power outages in much of the state.

I had bigger things to worry about.  A hefty tree branch had decoupled from its host and in its terminal fight with gravity crushed the garden gate.  Not looking at said aperture, I had let the dogs out before making coffee.  

Dogs must go out first thing in the morning as is customary.

They were no ordinary dogs.  They were fast dogs, sighthounds, and expensive.  Fleet of foot, they’d be miles away by the time panic set in.

We had a plan for such circumstances.

The wife would stay home, the boy would walk the woods and I’d drive the 1997, F250 around the byways yelling out the window.  The theory being that the Ford is loud and the dogs come when they hear it.  

Only today the pickup was full of junk.  The boy uses it for his junk hauling business and often misses dump hours.  So as I’m driving, taking corners and hitting ruts, a three foot CD tower, full of CDs mind you, is jabbing me in my ribs and the haphazard pile of the crap in the passenger seat is splashing around in the cab.

In the back, in the long and rusty bed, a tentative heap of furniture is stacked up and strapped down.  A Nordictrack ski machine is threatening to leap out at every curve.

How did I get here?  I thought to myself.  

I have worked hard my whole life, sacrificed, paid taxes.  I own my own house and have most of my teeth.  I’m a father, son and husband – a respected member of society, well liked in my industry…

And yet here I am in a camouflage bathrobe and Yeezy slippers (don’t ask)Then without the benefit of my morning coffee, fending off the Beatles White Album with my left hand while driving the dirt roads in search of lost dogs.  “Mimi, Snowball, treat!” I yell out the window into the void – the nothingness of exurban Maryland – a plaintive prayer to the McMansions and cornfields.

And so it goes.  

Life has a way of keeping you humble.  This is especially true in the markets.  

Know When to Cut Bait

Here is an example:

I used to own shares of Bayer Aktiengesellschaft (OTC: BAYRY); the company makes aspirin but also bought Monsanto a few years ago. Monsanto makes Roundup, which kills off dandelions and other weeds. A form of it is used in industrial farming. One guy bathed in the stuff and sued, saying it causes cancer. 

There is no evidence that it does cause cancer, but there are several class action lawsuits against Bayer, which has put a cap on the share price.

I bought the stock thinking that Ukraine would cause crop shortages, which in turn would drive sales and/or there would be a resolution in the lawsuit.

But that didn’t happen.  The stock only went down.  It was true that sales of its old Monsanto business surged but every time sales increased, there was bad news on other fronts. 

So should you sell the stock or continue to wait for the lawsuit to resolve itself? If you sell, you could lose a 100% gain post-lawsuit settlement. If you hold, you could suffer another four years of dead money.

The answer is that you should set up a time limit of two years and 25% in your long-term portfolio. If the stock hasn’t made you money in two years, or is down 25% assume that your investment thesis was wrong and sell it. This will keep your money in play and your mind focused on what does make money.

As for the dogs, my wife called and said the bitches came back while I was getting coffee and funny looks at the Wawa.

All the best,

Christian DeHaemer
Pro Trader Today