“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” – Winston Churchill
Politics…ahh, it seems like wherever we turn, there’s someone talking about the upcoming US Presidential election. I live in Canada and still hear about it. For those who don’t know, that’s rare, as Canadians prefer to talk more about hockey and weather. I know, I know. We all are a little tired of it, but the more I’m hearing the more I see how it relates to our everyday trading.
Choosing a representative is a little like choosing a strategy. Will Ferrell summed it up best when on Saturday Night Live earlier this year while impersonating George W: “Running the government is kind of like driving a school bus. You don’t want a crazy person driving that bus. You want a simple, underachieving, not very educated, reliable guy behind that wheel. Someone with a steady hand, who will be on time and get into one, two…no more than four accidents a year. You already know that someone and that someone is me.”
So, if politicians and strategies were somewhat similar, what would a debate look like between the strategies vying to run our portfolios? In other words, who would our portfolios vote for? Yes, I pushed it a little in this blog, but here we go (to help liven it up a little, insert Will Ferrell’s voice of George W):
Mr. BB (Bearish Butterfly Strategy): “Howdy. It’s a pleasure to be here tonight. For those portfolios out there that are a little worried about the future, I’m your man. I can handle volatility and uncertainty…especially, those evildoers. Matter of fact, I thrive in that type of environment. If you prefer easy sailing with calm waters, well, I can hold up pretty well in those places too. They aren’t my favorite, but I gett’er done. One more thing, just don’t call me everyday. We can talk once a quarter. It will be easier for all of us.”
Mr. M III (M3 Strategy): “Good evening. As the incumbent candidate here, I can handle all types of environments fairly well. You know that. I know that. We all know that. You’ve seen me perform in good times and bad. How did I do? (insert George W chuckle). I’m not the A student or the C student. I’m more like the B student. That’s pretty darn good in my book. Bring it on.”
Mr. V Condor (Strategy): “Howdy. It’s great to be here tonight. To be honest, I’m just happy to be on stage with such an elite group. When they told me I could come I couldn’t believe it. I know I’m not really well known, but if you get to know me you’ll know that I’m pretty reliable. I’m easy to understand and have a pretty solid track record, but for some reason I just don’t get invited to a lot of parties. What? My 30 seconds are already up?
Mr. Rock (Strategy): “Hello. You know me. Year in and year out, I excel. I know I’m a little difficult to get to know at first, but that’s the sign of a good leader. Track record? I’ve done better than anyone up here if you total up the past three years and that’s a fact (while looking around for Mr. 21, but he’s not in the room).
Mr. Cramer (Jim Cramer with sleeves rolled up, of course): “Booya! How does that feel? Just saying that word puts a smile on my face and I know it will put a smile on your portfolio’s face too. Yeah, I know my batting average is a little low and my performance is a little less than stellar, but I sure know how to have fun. That’s important, right? So, don’t forget about me. Your portfolio and I will have fun changing stock picks on a weekly basis. Booya!”
Mr. Index Fund aka: John Bogle (Vanguard): “If you want to sleep better at night, just go with me. Fees will be lower and you won’t over trade as that is the kiss of death to a portfolio’s performance. All the other guys here tonight are just too complicated. I’m your feel good vote. Don’t forget that. Buy and hold until your old. Thank you.”
Ms. Orman (Suze): “I am so happy to be here as I just got back from Oprah’s house. What do I recommend? Save, save, save. Besides that, I have no idea what these other candidates are talking about, but I do have a new book on sale. Check it out. Btw, why is the guy next to me with the funny hair looking at me that way?”
Mr. Trump (“The Donald”…I couldn’t resist): “What am I doing up here? I shouldn’t even be here. This group is just too complicated. Don’t waste your time getting to know them. How do I feel about them? Glad you asked.
Mr. BB? Too complicated
Mr. M III? Too complicated
Mr. V Condor? Too complicated
Mr. Rock? Too complicated
Mr. Cramer? He shouldn’t even be up here on stage.
Index Guy? If you want to work at Wal-Mart when you are retired, sure, go with him.
Ms. Orman: Really?
Let’s make your portfolio great. Go with real estate.”
Ok. Enough of that as politics can be a sensitive issue, but you have to admit. It sure beats Canadian politics. Note: My mom says Trudeau and Trump have good hair. What? Now, that’s too complicated.
Written and contributed by John Wilson