Thursday, October 20, 2011

Foggy Rules

Vistage Group 1107 had much discussion about the economy today.  A.S. said there is continuing uncertainty  in his CEO groups --- one of his CEO members said "It's so foggy out there the birds are walking". 

My theory is that business players don't like to "play the game" when the rules are changing or unknown.  How would you like to be in the middle of half time for a football game when the referees and league officials announce there may be some rule changes  for the second half.   All rules are subject to change.  For example, touchdowns may be worth 5 points and field goals 4 points; first downs will be 15 yards from the line of scrimmage; off sides penalties 20 yards; etc.  The players stay in the locker room - not spending time on strategy (afterall how can they) - waiting for the announcement.

The stock market investors behave in the same way - what rule changes might come into effect (and when) for capital gains and dividends?   It is no wonder the volatility of the stock market reflects the fog of what investors think the companies (in the locker room) will do and what rules the politicians might change.

We risk our time, talent and treasure when we SEE a potential outcome.  When the uncertainty of outcomes has totally fogged any dream for the future, we shut our eyes and stay put.

And when will the sun rise?  When the rules and their timeline are known.

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