The adage then implies you are dying. This was attributed to many people for obvious reasons. Success implies things are getting better. Better in business generally implies you are getting bigger. We at Apogee have never defined success that way, but certainly celebrate successful growth as one metric, but learned early on that some business elements are winners and others are losers. You always have some losers you keep because extracting them just to pump up earnings tends to render you an incomplete provider of services.
This is different than loss leaders that many companies use to “get you into the store.” They are things that attract you, usually because of a low price, that hopefully results in you buying other things there because you are already there.
Today’s world of electronic overload and talking heads use flamboyant language to play on common fears, and with today’s 401Ks more like 201Ks, a common fear is not having enough money set aside for retirement. Most of us have never really looked at our retirement accounts carefully, and when we do there can be a wakeup call about winners and losers.
Well, a recent news article about the TV personality who covers stocks caught my eye. It is Jim Cramer’s “Mad Money” who has declared fossil fuels dead. Read it for yourself.
You see these antics all the time. I wish they were all about thoughtful people trying to be helpful. I have concluded they are not. They are deliberate attempts to move stock prices using fear which then traders can detect and use to make windfall profits. These are truly evil acts. Here is how it works.
You take a commonly held long run belief: right now that is certainly the notion that the world is moving away from fossil fuels for a host of reasons. You then scare people to believe the sky is falling using some recent stock movements, implying that the “end is near” and it never is. The market responds and quickly. You then wait for it to settle at the bottom of the moody cycle and buy knowing it will return to the long term trend line. “The trend is your friend” is the rule for most trading organizations, and it is. Market moods especially scares cause short term deviations. Day traders just love these.
Look, folks, take a hard look at global oil production statistics. Yes, they may not be increasing, but it is not going out of style quickly. Yes, oil companies may now diversify to include renewables and energy efficiency investments to “green up” their appearances, but the majority of their business is still going strong, and will for many years.
One of our professional friends who mails things for people knows the long term trends on things being mailed, but still invests in the business because he is hoping that the others who mail things for people will go out of business. His strategy is to be the last mailing firm in business and then face the realities. His business is growing as a result.