My Daddy was born in 1898, and with the beginning of this year (2000), he has lived in three centuries. Not many people can make that statement. Think about the incredible changes he has witnessed during this 102 year period!
A great story teller, Daddy loved to tell about ‘horse and buggy’ times and how the preachers would preach sermons condemning ‘rubber tire buggies and silk stockings’ considered to be radical and sinful behavior in those days. He witnessed the arrival of the automobile, electricity, radio, television, telephone, the airplane (although he has never flown) and yes, the computer.
When asked what invention he most appreciated that made his life more enjoyable his answer is one you would never guess. To better understand his answer, you need to know that my folks were farm raised and provincial to say the least. We saved coffee cans; actually, we saved everything. Unwrapping Christmas presents was rather tedious because Mother always folded each piece of wrapping paper to be used next Christmas. They indeed were the salt of the earth.
So what invention did Dad most appreciate? Central heat! And that is his final and only answer. You see, he really never got into electronics and computers. (The family got our first TV the year I left home for college.) He was too old to understand the technology revolution. Relative to cutting wood, central heat was high tech to him.
Dad is not alone in this respect. Most investors and managers missed the initial tech boom only to rush in late and overweight their portfolios with ridiculously inflated stocks creating a highly volatile portfolio that has recently resulted in huge declines in some stocks.
In the last five years we have seen the S&P 500 weighting of tech companies increase from around 10% to 31%. At Bragg Financial we love and own tech stocks, but we have avoided the temptation to go tech heavy and we only own profitable companies. With the recent decline in some tech stocks we feel fortunate to have maintained our discipline of not overweighting in any one sector and to always buy industry leaders in each sector.
Shakespeare said it in the Merchant of Venice, and Daddy and I agree: All that glitters is not gold.
Footnote: Mr. Bragg, Sr. passed away on June 6, 2000.
This information is believed to be accurate but should not be used as specific investment or tax advice. You should always consult your tax professional or other advisors before acting on the ideas presented here.