I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.
It means different things to different people. In the North, I am sure, it means that they want snow. Down here in the South, we want snow but it would be a small miracle. I can count the Christmases that I awoke to snow on one hand and have some fingers left over.
I am a reflection of my environment and my upbringing, but when I think of Christmas I can’t help but think about our family clothing business and how one-third of our yearly sales and pretty much all of our profit – when there is profit – comes between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And the colder it is, the more we sell. A white Christmas is great for retail.
I want snow and I still feel a very strong connection to our family clothing business, but I have forged my way in the investment world for more than a quarter of a century and it shapes the way I look at things.
Writing this column for 20 of those years also has shaped my thoughts in that I am always looking for a correlation between investing and anything else that happens in the world.
Dreams of a white Christmas for me are more nightmares than snow. All the white noise that is created around Christmastime has become overwhelming.
I am getting five times the emails I normally get in a day. The flyers on my car, the pamphlets in my mail, the inserts in the very newspapers that publish my column are just too much for anyone to process.
We need an app that will let us scan all our junk and filter out what we really want to see. I am sure that I have missed a number of things I needed to see because they have been caught in the onslaught of peripheral junk that has uselessly cost the lives of thousands of innocent trees.
And then I think about what Christmas is really about. I am not speaking for anyone other than me. You don’t have to be a Christian for Christmas to be a special time. But for me, it is supposed to be about the birth of Jesus Christ.
In my mind, there is not one thing wrong with wanting snow. There nothing wrong with wanting to take the time to show your friends and family what they mean to you by buying them a present. But it is important to not lose sight of the thing that matters most.
In the investing world it is very easy to lose sight of what matters most. We have white noise blaring at us all year long, and it is a challenge to stay focused and remember what you are really investing for and what you should do to stay on course.
This Christmas, take a moment to refocus every day on why you celebrate this time of year and remember how that kind of focus can help you all year long in many different parts of your life.
Scott Reed is CEO of investment advisory firm Hardy Reed in Tupelo. Contact him at (662) 823-4722 or firstname.lastname@example.org.