Investing and Building a Superhero Body
Updated: Oct 4
A very strange thing happened recently. Car rental company Hertz Global Holdings filed for bankruptcy but shares of the company shot up. The investment community was stunned and couldn't explain it. Usually when companies declare bankruptcy their shares go to zero and wipe out shareholders. The company itself warned that, "the shares are worthless."
So what happened here?
People who were recently laid off and just started investing began buying shares of Hertz and dramatically increased the share price. The stock over a span of three weeks shot up from 56 cents to $5.53 a share, 10x return. Some sold high and took profits. They then posted on social media sites and YouTube explaining how easy it is to make money in the stock market. This is the same crowd who were regulars in casinos and did fair amount of sports betting before COVID-19 hit. With everything closed these people found a new outlet.
"The stock market has a way of schooling people who think they have this investing thing all figured out. Stock market rallies and investing fads all end, and they often end ugly."
- Rob Carrick, The Globe and Mail
Hertz stock has since dropped from $5.53 to $1.47 a share. Hate to be the people who bought the stock at $5 dollars.
This story is very familiar. These people take a large sum of money and invest it in companies they have never heard of. If they have, they don't review the company financial statements. Someone (usually on YouTube, Instagram, family member or a friend) tells them there is no risk and they will make a fortune in weeks if not days. They buy, then the stock drops shortly after and they sell in a panic taking a huge loss. These people then swear to never invest in stocks again.
Investing in stocks for the short term is GAMBLING. Anything can happen. Any stock can suddenly go up or down for any or no reason at all. You are no better off than gambling in a casino.
Investing, in my opinion, is very similar to building a Superhero body.
You are not going to start your first gym session attempting to bench press 300 Ibs because you saw Hugh Jackman do it in an Instagram post. The weight will land hard on your chest and seriously injure you.
Actors who played superheroes such as Superman, Thor, Wolverine, Aquaman and Captain America had trained hard for years focusing on their diets.
There is no "Super Soldier Serum" in real life that can turn a Steve Rogers from a weak and frail little thing deemed unfit for military service into Captain America in minutes.
Chris Evans has played Captain America in several movies. He was in GREAT SHAPE to begin with but to look like a superhero he had to significantly increase his protein intake and stop all cardio. He then hit the gym six days a week for three months, training for two hours a day. The training program was based on heavyweight/low-rep sets of the classic compound lifts: squats, deadlifts, shoulder press, bench press, weighted dips, and chin-ups. These are incredibly tough exercises to do and it takes time to see results.
All of this is not rocket science in terms of workout and diet tips. It is very basic. Weightlifting 101 stuff. The challenge is to push yourself through the pain and be consistent. Workout on days you don't want to. Eat fish and vegetables when people around you are eating pizza. This is where most people either fail or succeed in their diets and workout plans.
Investing in stocks is the equivalent to weight lifting. You need to be patient and work at it. Your muscles will be sore at first and you may not see much progress in the beginning. Keep at it and think long term.
If you are going to be successful in investing you have to be patient and have a long term view. Think 5 to 10 years not a few weeks. Some things take time like building a superhero body.