I lost money. I didn’t buy. But I loved Monday.

What I loved about Monday? You!

woman on the beach in her swimmers holding her surfboard

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I absolutely loved Monday.

No, I didn’t avoid losing money,

No, I didn’t buy anything when share prices fell.

The reason I loved Monday had nothing to do with me.

It had everything to do with you.

Let me tell you a story.

When I joined The Motley Fool more than a decade ago, I had a meeting with our Global Chief Investment Officer, Andy Cross.

He wasn’t drilling me on stock picking.

He wasn’t telling me what recommendations to make.

Typically of The Motley Fool, and unusually just about everywhere else, he wanted me to make sure I was looking after our members.

“We’ll get — and keep — the members we deserve,” I remember him saying.

No, not in a sales or marketing sense.

Not even in a stock-picking sense.

His very clear message to me was that while we’re ostensibly here to pick stocks, we have a much deeper and greater responsibility.

“Get them ready for whatever comes,” is another line I recall, as clearly as if it was yesterday.

Look, I try not to do too much selling in these pieces. We do enough of that elsewhere, which gives me the luxury to write about what’s on my mind, and what I hope will be of benefit to our members and readers.

But I will say that Andy’s words are typical of him, and of the approach we have ever-after tried to instil in our team here in Australia.

We are here, yes, to pick stocks. But that’s only half the job. Maybe less than half.

The rest is making sure we prepare you to ride the waves.

Because no matter how good our stock-picking (and I reckon it’s pretty good), it’s useless to our members if they don’t have the preparedness to actually see it through.

Imagine buying Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) shares at $100, only to sell out when they hit $9.

They’re now over $3,000.

Some people did precisely that.

(I own shares in Amazon. Unfortunately, I wasn’t smart enough to buy them at either $9 or $100!)

Poor buggers.

Right company. Right opportunity. Wrong temperament and/or understanding of markets.

We at The Motley Fool absolutely have to do the first bit. But unless you go with us on the second bit, it might come to naught.

Which brings me back to Monday.

Before the market opened, the ASX 200 futures were pointing to a 1.5% fall, in the face of Omicron uncertainty.

The market opened around 1.1% down.

By 4pm Sydney time, that fall had halved, to a decline of 0.54%.

No, the halving of that decline wasn’t why I loved Monday either.

Before the ASX opened, I tweeted and posted on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) that investors shouldn’t panic.

The result?

To a person, every comment was a version of either ‘nope, not selling’ or ‘I’m actually looking for bargains’.

Can I tell you, that’s about the highest praise I can get.

Those responses, and the fact that investors remembered that we’re playing a long game, were what I loved about Monday.

It was, to no small degree, an echo of an email I received the other day. After asking a question for our podcast mailbag episode, Michael added at the end:

“Thanks for the podcast; has enlightened me on hundreds of walks to work and helped me chill out and buy stocks in March 2020 which probably brought my retirement forward a few years.”

Now, I’m no saint, and I like earning a salary as much as the next bloke, but that sort of comment, and those on my social feeds on Monday, are exactly why I do this job.

Thank you for making it a joy.

Here’s to riding the waves, together, in calm confidence.

Fool on!

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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Motley Fool contributor Scott Phillips owns shares of Amazon. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended Meta Platforms, Inc. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Amazon and Meta Platforms, Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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