Adapt, and Be Ready to Act

The first time I got a big cut over my left eye, I was in the first or second grade and was attending Ebenezer Avenue Elementary. The second time I got a big cut over my left eye, I was in the third or fourth grade, and early in my Richmond Drive Elementary school days. Both instances involved a lot of blood, a lot of fear, and a lot of stitches. I was scared both times, and each time I worried I’d lost an eye. Now think about the fear my mom had when her sweet little boy came running at her holding his head with blood running down his face… her sweet, little, stupid boy that not only almost lost an eye twice, but basically the same eye, and in the same spot. Fear can quickly turn to anger in cases like that.

Luckily the eye is fine, and I have a very cool two-part scar that has been with me most of my life. It blends easily into my face and doesn’t scare people, but it’s also easy to point out if I want to look tough. It’s adaptable to my needs, and was even much more so when I was a kid. I went to school both times with an eye-patch. Everyone wanted to know what had happened, and for a good week I was the cool kid. I used those wounds to my advantage. My eye hurt when there were chores and homework to be done, but also when there were cookies and candy close by. Of course it didn’t hurt when there were other kids around... I wasn’t scared about having to go get the stitches out or anything.

We are all good at adapting to the circumstances. Whatever happens with Covid-19 and how we ultimately deal with it, be it a vaccine or medication or a change in behavior, we will adapt individually and together as a society.

At Anderson Griggs Investments, from a portfolio management perspective, we are adapting beliefs and behavior. Our central investment philosophies have not changed. We are not thinking about starting to use triple-leveraged inverse ETFs, emerging market junk bonds, or venture capital. Our conservative approach to investment management, based on knowledge and reality, still guides our decisions, but the capital markets environments have changed in size, scale, and speed. We are upgrading our technology to better address and adapt to the rate of change we are seeing. We still hold to the long-view investment philosophy we’ve spoken about with you all, but opportunities come and go quickly. Many of you may have seen the recent monthly trades reported by Robinhood, the newer free trading app mostly used by younger traders. At 4.3 million average trades per day in June, it beat out the other giants TD Ameritrade, Interactive Brokers, Charles Schwab, and E-Trade. We aren’t looking to become momentum traders, but we must realize that increased volatility can create quick opportunities for the long-term investor, though only if we are ready to act.