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To all of you based in the United States, I hope you all had a happy and safe Independence Day.
As we move through this shortened trading week, I want to take a moment to tell you a story.
You see, my wife and I really enjoy the movies, and try to hit the theaters as often as we can. But we really enjoy settling in at home, uncorking a bottle of wine, and unwinding to a cinematic classic or new release.
My lifelong interest in history has made me especially fond of classic historical fiction or period productions.
I remember some classics from growing up. My dad took me to watch "Tora! Tora! Tora!" – the dramatic retelling if the Pearl Harbor attack staring actors like Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotton, and more.
Outside of being an incredible film, there is another reason why I remember seeing this movie in theaters that day.
I was amazed that the showing actually had an intermission (which, for a young movie-goer like me meant there was time to grab a popcorn and a soda…).
In fact, over the holiday weekend, I was recalling fond childhood memories with my dad-and we recounted the day we saw that famous war flick.
And he, too, remembered the intermission.
So I did some digging into the history of performance arts (plays, musicals, film screenings, and operas) – and the origin of the intermission.
Now, you might be wondering how all of this applies to your journey here.
Well, my discovery about intermissions has more to do with our work together here than you might think.
And I want to share it with you now…
A Look Back…
Intermissions – in any kind of performance – exist for a bunch of reasons.
They're a recess of sorts – a kind of break between important sections of a production.
Obviously, these breaks are needed so the stagehands can change the sets, the wardrobe folks can help change costumes, and the performers themselves can catch a breather.
As for the viewers… the audience… the folks being played to: for them the intermission serves as a dramatic pause.
That gives the spectators a chance to think about what they've just seen and heard… and to refocus in a manner that gets them ready for the acts scheduled to follow.
But as I found during my reading, this wasn't always the case.
Many years ago – back in the 1700s, in fact – the intermission was very different. Even though there was a break in the main performance, the action didn't stop… but rather continued offstage.
Indeed, as French writer and historian Jean-Francois Marmontel wrote back in 1763, "The interval is a rest for the spectators; not for the action. The characters are deemed to continue acting during the interval from one act to another."
I found that to be a scintillating bit of insight because of how it relates to what I do – which is to teach folks how to be better traders and better investors.
That's my goal when I conduct trading seminars, when I share my latest market views with my newsletter subscribers, and when I'm interviewed on TV shows.
That obviously goes triple for the work we're doing together here.
And that brings me back to the history of intermissions – and The 10-Minute Millionaire.
I grant you… we're not on stage here. We're not performing.
But we are learning.
And we're learning about a topic (investing, trading, and wealth creation) that demands the same kind of immersive concentration we'd devote to a high-quality theatrical production.
With a play, the performers we're watching are the actors.
We watch as the story unfolds.
We have to think about what's happening, have to think about what it all means, and have to think about the overarching lessons… in addition to considering how these lessons might be applied.
As investors, we do the very same things.
In this venue, of course, the performances we're concerned with are financial, not human.
We watch the markets, watch individual stocks, and watch as the story they're telling us unfolds.
We derive lessons from those tales, and apply what we've learned to our individual trades, and to our overarching investment strategies.
As the creator of The 10-Minute Millionaire, I'm not performing.
But I am making a presentation – complete with stories, lessons, and strategies that I want you to apply to your everyday life.
And there's a lot to absorb, I know.
Indeed, an intellectual exercise of this magnitude certainly requires an intermission… a break… to allow you to fully absorb the lessons we've already talked about.
And I can aid that process by including a summary or review of what's happened so far.
But while we take this break… while we enjoy this intermission… the "action is deemed to continue" – just as Marmontel, the theater historian, wrote so many years ago.
And he's right.
Just think about it.
We've spent a fair bit of time here already talking about market extremes, about the perils of emotion-driven trading, and about the advantages of The 10-Minute Millionaire.
But while we take this break, the "action is deemed to continue."
In this case, however, the action that continues offstage is the trading that takes place in the financial markets all around the world… here in the United States… in Europe… and in Asia.
It's the craziness that causes stocks to overrun to the upside… and to be oversold to the downside.
It's the miscues that most investors repeat – over and over and over again – so that they never achieve meaningful wealth.
I love that creative way of looking at what we're doing together here.
So let's take this intermission… review what we've learned to this point… and look ahead at what's to come…
About the Author
Nationally recognized technical trader. Background in engineering, system designs, and risk reduction. 26 years in the markets.