Grass is always greener onÂ the other side. I first heardÂ this fromÂ a coworker and I found it describes human nature very well.Â Remember when we were kids,Â some of us felt theÂ meals at our neighbours or relatives’ home taste better theÂ our own home?
I made thisÂ mistake when I firstÂ started trading into stock markets a few years ago. It ususally happens like this: so I bought thisÂ stock, hope it to go up higher (it did not); on the other hand, other stocks in my watch lists went up. So what did I do? I became impatient, IÂ swap out of my stock with the one went up. The results?Â Not so good (certainlly this is not the only mistake I made inÂ past 2 years).
This year I took a different approach. I bought Symantec (SYMC) lastÂ December and I still hold some of them (the reasonÂ I soldÂ some is another lesson IÂ will talk in another day). So far thisÂ security/storage software giant did not disappoint me: it went upÂ more than 20% from the price I bought. From time to time I also had the distractions IÂ mentioned above. I had about 10 stocks in my watch list and someÂ times I felt it’s a real good time to buy a stock because it’sÂ cheap (relative to its intrinsic value). Panera Bread (PNRA) fell to $48 about a month ago, it traded at $60 lately. But when I examine more carefully, the percentage gain for those stocks is similar toÂ Symantec stock I have, if we ignore the duration of time, for instance, NBR (large cap oil service) went from $56 low to $70Â high,Â JCG (retailer new IPO) went from $25 to $32, and AGIL (small cap software) went fromÂ $5.50 to $6.50. Note the new IPO or small cap stocks usually has more risk, and we should expect more rerurn for more risk (otherwise, why all these sleepless nights before quarterly earning reports 🙂
By the same token, sometimes we make the same mistake on work and personal lives. When I first started programming job (using C and C++), I wasted a lot time taking certifications onÂ Java and some other areas in IT because I thought those are “cool”.Â I also thought about moving back to China because I thought life back home is much more colorful than midwest; and the development in China means more opportunities in career development.Â This probablly has some merits. But againÂ we should not ignore the downside of the other sideÂ either: more competition,Â more stress at work,Â more crowded (on street and housing), andÂ hard to driveÂ a car 🙂
I believeÂ we shouldÂ resist this “greener grass onÂ the other side” thinking when looking for theÂ life partner. For instance, when you look at other attractive girls when you are with your girl friend, you know what you will get fromÂ yourÂ girl friendÂ :-(Â Â Â Â