Stephen Colbert: How Bad is the Economy?

I loved this quote from Stephen Colbert on his show The Colbert Report:

“How bad is our economy? Well, I’ll give you my two cents, which used to be a dollar.” – Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report

While it’s not necessarily true that a dollar is now worth two cents, I think it’s a great joke about the US economy right now.

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Donald J. Trump – Organization Quote

Donald Trump has a lot of great things to say. Mr. Trump a very intelligent man who has mastered the business game. Sure, he may say a lot of things, but there are many great gems. The quote below is one of my favorite Donald Trump quotes.

“For entrepreneurs, ignorance is not bliss. It’s fatal. It’s costly. And it’s for losers. You either get organized, or get crushed.” – Donald J. Trump

Donald Trump is exactly correct: organization is crucial in every aspect of business. Trump states he overprepares for important meetings and negotiations. He plans out questions he expects and questions to ask. He prepares for every scenario he may encounter. His excellent organizational skills are an asset he uses to produce successful results in his negotiations.

Organization is “the act of arranging in a systematic way for use or action” and “an organized structure for arranging or classifying” (

Developing your own organizational system and style can greatly benefit you not only as an entrepreneur or in the business world, but also as a stock trader or investor. You can apply the same organizational strategies and techniques to your stock trading and investing. While doing research, you can organize your notes, watch list, and potential plays more efficiently. After time, as you gain more experience, you can organize information more reliably and a lot faster. Speed and reliability are crucial when make fast, non-stop trading decisions.

One thing traders and investors can organize is their strategy for trading and investing their money. A trading plan gives definition and rules to the method you use to trade stocks “in your mind”. Basically, you’re writing down “how” you trade stocks on paper.

Traders and investors can also organize stocks on their watch list in to groups. Groups you can use are “day trades”, “swing trades”, “watch earnings”, “dividends”, and “value”. Some people use the stock’s business sector, such as manfucaturing or bio-tech. Create your own way to organize the stocks you watch.

As The Donald says, “you either get organized, or you get crushed.” Give structure to your trading life by efficiently organizing the massive amounts of information you see on a daily basis. Develop your organizational skills.

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Luck is when Preparation meets Opportunity

Here’s a favorite quote of mine regarding Luck from Seneca the Younger.. or perhaps Oprah Winfrey – take your pick.

First, the Seneca quote:

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” – Seneca

Here is the Oprah quote:

“I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity.” – Oprah Winfrey

I personally am not a strong believer in what most people consider “luck”, perhaps due to a significant background in mathematics, programming, and stock trading. I feel people use “luck” too loosely. Some people consider a person who wins the lottery “lucky”. My mathematics tells me winning the lottery is all probabilities. I don’t believe luck is involved in the lottery at all. Someone has to win. It could be John Smith or Jane White. The lottery is just numbers and probabilities – pure mathematics, in my opinion.

However, even I may consider a person who won the lottery jackpot 10 times in a row “lucky”.

To me, the heart of this quotation is preparedness meeting opportunity.

Being a successful trader or investor is not about having profitable, “lucky” stock picks. A successful trader does their homework – their Due Diligence. They prepare themselves by doing all the necessary stock market research. The hard work. Opportunity can present itself with a good price to buy the stock, or perhaps some company news or earnings were released, and the stock jumps up. They’ve prepared by doing Due Diligence and thorough research, and then they are presented with solid opportunities for making successful trades and ultimately profits.

Anyone who is “lucky” trading stocks is simply guessing. Out of 10 random stocks, at least one stock will probably – the mathematics of probabilities – go up and produce great profits for investors and traders. I am oversimplifying here, but it needs to be made clear that the successful investors and traders aren’t getting lucky. They are doing Due Diligence, and buy when the best opportunity arises. I see no “luck” involved.

Overall, I believe preparedness meeting opportunity is not “luck” – at least luck in the sense most people I have talked to believe in. Preparedness meeting opportunity means you’ve done your homework, you’ve done your research, you’ve performed Due Diligence. Luck is what you make yourself, what you build yourself. Luck comes from within, not from external forces.

Leadership Quote From Donald Trump

Here’s a quote from Donald Trump regarding leadership and personal ability I find very truthful. I was browsing some blogs and came across Donald Trump’s Blog.

If you’re in a leadership position now or have your sights set on one, it’s important for you to figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are, then assess where to go from there. Take some time to sit down and try to review your personal strengths and weaknesses. I think you’ll find it’s a very eye-opening exercise.Donald Trump

Personally, I see Donald Trump as great businessman, evident by his success. When it comes to leadership and creating successful businesses, I hold Donald Trump’s thoughts and opinions in high regards.

Applying this quote to trading: As a trader, we are our own leaders. We do not command a team, but we make all the crucial decisions. These decisions, whether good or bad, affect our most valuable employee: ourselves. Just like Donald says, we need to review our strengths and weaknesses. Example: Do we get scared holding a stock we’re losing money on? If so, this is a weakness, and we need to re-think our trading strategy to minimize risk and minimize the effects of emotional trading.