Thank you, GameStop, for teaching us an important lesson: YOLO doesn’t mean go out and do something crazy!
Have you been reading about GameStop? Crazy and exciting, right? There were definitely some big winners and big losers.
It got me thinking about whether all that investing around the company was a Bold move for people. There was a story about one of the hapless investors in the Wall Street Journal that struck me, an investor who lost big.
From the article:
Salvador Vergara was so enthusiastic about GameStop Corp. in late January that he took out a $20,000 personal loan and used it to purchase shares. Then the buzzy stock plunged nearly 80%… GameStop’s volatile ride is hitting the portfolios of individual investors like Mr. Vergara who purchased the stock in a social-media-fueled frenzy. These casual traders say GameStop was their “YOLO,” or “you only live once,” trade.
Aside from being a pretty sad tale of someone losing their shirt in the stock market, what jumped out at me was the notion of YOLO as a credo. It stinks!
“You only live once” isn’t a prescription to do crazy stuff. You need to go for meaningful, purposeful, and well-thought-out goals. If you haven’t thought it through and considered the pros and the cons, and if you aren’t inspired by knowing your “why”, you’re setting yourself up to fail. What will that failure look like? Well, for poor Vergara, it means an awful lot of debt.
By now, you’re probably well aware that I’m a big proponent of Bold Living. A Bold Life is an inspiring life, with goals and accomplishments that make you feel a huge sense of pride at the end of the day. I have previously shared why the “just do it” message was one to avoid. Using YOLO as an excuse to do something–especially speculative investment decisions–is the wrong move, too.
As per the Wall Street Journal article, the Bold Goal Vergara sought to accomplish was early retirement. But his effort to seize an opportunity he saw on Reddit was a rash one, totally devoid of the planning and steps that should have been taken before making such a financial leap.
If only Vergara had followed the path taken by Justin and Kaisorn McCurry, whose story I highlighted in my book. They, too, wanted to retire early. But while they invested in the market, they did so with a plan (which also included significant reductions in spending and some serious planning). If you want to read more about the McCurrys, you can check out their website, RootOfGood. And if you do, you’ll find no evidence of YOLO there!
Bold Living is smart living, which means climbing a mountain with a rope to hold onto and a helmet to protect you from falling rocks. It doesn’t mean making undiversified speculative investments in the stock market with borrowed money!
So again, thank you, GameStop, for teaching us this important lesson. If you’re going to YOLO, YOLO smartly. Don’t jump off a cliff and realize halfway down that you should’ve brought a parachute.
Keep living Bold!
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