Monday, November 26, 2012

Timing, Opportunity and Moving Forward in Life

My unexpected stock trading activities today have spurred me to express some thoughts about the importance of timing, taking advantage of opportunities and the effect this has on moving forward in life. Each year I write something lamenting the fruitless exercise of participating in the New Year's Day resolution ritual. Recently I did so with Being set up for failure, disappointment and self-defeating beliefs again where I particularly referenced the self-defeating aspects of initiating a life improvement plan based upon some arbitrary setting. It's like awakening to an alarm clock rather than when the body is rested and prepared. It has been years upon years since I have used an alarm clock.

As life marches forward in a chronological pattern it becomes easy to get stuck in a perpetual routine as though each day is passing through a mirror - looking back you see the now and looking forward you see the now. The way you live today is how you will live the rest of your life. Thus, timing becomes important.

On Wednesday whilst preparing for the arrival of my number one son, Therin - my only son -, I was contemplating my options of where to play around in the stock market. I didn't have time to watch the market that day but still felt the urge to play. I settled upon the ultra safe bet of just buying the Dow Jones Transportation Index ETF [IDU] if it dipped. It was trading around $84.50 and had a 52 week range of 82.53 - 93.97. It earns about 10% per year and pays a dividend of 3%. So I entered a limit order of $83.95 which hit within a few hours. The closing price for the day was $84.40. I figure it's a buy-and-hold which I'll dispose of if it hits around $88 in the next few months.

So today I get online to do the myriad of tasks that have accumulated since the arrival of aforementioned Number One! This wasn't the onset of my day though. That began with my Yoga routine followed by a rather lengthy meditation session and then the recitation of the daily affirmations. Of particular note is “Financial rewards come to me”.

Again, I had no intentions of playing in the market today. I was holding a short position in the S&P 500 and my utility ETF which I didn't expect to see any action until a European calamity of Fiscal Cliff fears. Out of the blue I checked IDU which was trading at $85.05 - a comfortable gain and quite reassuring. I watched it continue to climb and didn't see the rationale or for that matter care. It was now at $85.50, up 1.9% in two days. A substantial move for such a banal index. So I sold and pocketed the profits.

How quickly plans change. Opportunities appear when they are least expected. These changes are a part of daily life though. Adapting to them and taking advantage of these opportunities is what propels us forward in life.

While it is important to draw broad outlines and set a reasonable timeline towards achieving goals one must not become locked into patterns or limited by an inflexible chronological standard.

Today, when I affirmed that financial rewards come to me I didn't expect it to be in the stock market. Maintaining that affirmation led me to check where I have financial opportunities. I discarded my previous plans and profited from today's opportunity.

More important than money though is the relationship you have with your child(ren). Nowhere is there more important opportunities to take advantage of than with a child or regarding custody. These will range from courtroom proceedings to unexpected learning moments when in the company of your child.

In a recent custody battle we developed our war strategy and established the chronological attack well ahead of the hearing date. Much to our surprise the other parent substantially violated the Court's order just two days prior to the hearing. The answers provided to our line of questioning proved to be an unexpected blessing. The net result was my client being given a most favourable significant modification in the parenting time order.

Since that time my client has been able to offer additional opportunities for parenting time to the other parent and also receive some reciprocal time. The children are reportedly pleased with the schedule and are not experiencing the levels of anxiety or other stressors that had been evident preceded the hearing.

While these parents are by no means best of friends now -- amicable communication remains tenuous – they are not experiencing their previous level of high conflict parenting. They have each taken advantage of opportunities that didn't come at an expected time and are moving forward in life and with their children.

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©2008, 2012 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

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