If you aim at nothing, you hit nothing. Actually, if you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time. This sounds like some slogan on a T-Shirt but pause and think about it for a second. During Christmas holiday we took a short visit to Maasai Mara. I took some notes and figured I should share my encounter with the lions.
The air in New Jersey is heavy like a musky soup, but in Mara it is light, with a strange scent of pollen like burning flowers. It smelled wild, untamed. It was beautiful. Upon arrival at Basecamp Explorer (Obama stayed here in 2006), I sat in the open air dining room and drank a drink that isn't a drink. The night was engulfed with myriad noises including the roar of a lion. In the morning, cool air arose from the ground and send a shiver through me. Then the sun found me and I was warm. The sunlight was soft and pale and pink like God decided to light the day with candles and the whole of Maasai Mara spread out before my eyes. It is the most magnificent thing you'll ever see.
“The night was engulfed with myriad noises including the roar of a lion."
Every living thing in Mara is armed with thorns and horns and fangs. You can't run roughshod wherever you please. The land wages war on itself as it is looking for an answer. We scheduled with Richard Kudate, a respected Maasai naturalist guide for an early morning game drive. Our goal was to see the Big 5 (the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and the buffalo). Spotting animals like lions and leopards in their natural habitat is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It's not something that most people do very often. There's no off-roading or walking safaris allowed and no night drives either. We hopped into our safari van at 6:30 am and spent the wee hours of the morning keeping our eyes peeled for wildlife. It's all out there, you just have to pay attention. These animals (lions, leopards and cheetahs) are made to blend in with their surrounding and if you blink, you may miss an amazing opportunity.
As the golden sun emerged out of hiding and lit up the shimmering grassland, Richard discovered the distinct tracks of a male lion. We drove along the tracks until we found him, wandering alone in search of his family after a night on the hunt. Not far off, lay a pride of them. We were so close - you could almost reach out and grab a tuft of their auburn mane.
Lions have earned their reputation of being the king of the jungle because they are indeed efficient hunters. There are two primary ways they hunt:
They stay hidden for as long as possible while they approach their prey.
The other way is straightforward: no hiding or stalking involved - they come face to face to fight.
“We drove along the tracks until we found him.”
That encounter led me thinking about what we do here at PeteandPete Investors. We invest and trade. We learn about the securities markets and how money works. We strive to be debt free. That said, what could I possibly learn from these fearless creatures!
Strategy: Lions must hunt, yet sometimes their prey run zig-zag to evade capture. The securities markets are fraught with risks. Developing winning strategies is mandatory. It is very important that you find the one that's right for your objectives and situation in life. A 25 year old should have a different strategy than a 65 year old.
Community: A lion does everything in his power to protect his pride and everyone in it. A lion's pride is his pride. There are thousands of "investment" groups than you can imagine (WhatsApp, Facebook, Discord, Telegram etc.). Some just take your money! others are toxic, so be picky. If you are still a cub, find and join a relevant group that will nurture and support you.
Rest: Look at the lion. He can spend the lion's share of his day sleeping. Sometimes up to 20hrs! When he gets up, he has the energy to hunt. You can't trade constantly! Take time to review and plan ahead. I read somewhere that overnight is when the big money is made in the stock market — not by trading but by getting a good night’s sleep.
Our escapade at Maasai Mara ended with a Maasai village visit (blog for another day). Arguably the most iconic tribal group in all of Africa is the Maasai. The nomadic, warrior tribe still retain many of their traditions. The price for a village visit which includes a contribution toward the local schools is about $20.00. The Maasai live in in a "Manyatta" - a low height dwelling made of mud, cow dung and wood with single entrance and minimal side windows. There is no piped water, electricity or gas. I can only imagine how a conversation about SPX, and Natural Gas Futures would go. Financial independence is taken for granted but when it is necessary, there's no substitute.
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