Once upon a time there was a Chinese farmer whose horse ran away.
That evening, all of his neighbors came around to commiserate. They said, “We are so sorry to hear that your horse has run away. This is most unfortunate.”
The farmer said, “Maybe.”
The next day the horse came back bringing seven wild horses with it, and in the evening, everybody came back and said, “Oh, isn’t that great fortune, you now have eight horses! What a great turn of events.”
The farmer again said, “Maybe.”
The following day, the farmer's son was riding one of new horses to try to break the horse, he was thrown and broke his leg. The neighbors then said, “Oh isn't that horrible?”
And the farmer responded, “Maybe.”
The next day the conscription officers came around to draft young men into the army, and they rejected his son because he had a broken leg. Again, all the neighbors came around and said, “Isn’t that great!”
Again, he said, “Maybe.”
"The whole process of nature is an integrated process of immense complexity, and it’s really impossible to tell whether anything that happens in it is good or bad, because you never know what will be the consequence of the misfortune; or, you never know what will be the consequences of seemingly good fortune." - Alan Watts
Investing can feel like a roller coaster, with so many ups and downs it can be hard to understand if what is currently happening is actually good or bad.
-Paul R. Rossi, CFA