Well, I was going to write on Starbucks today...

but... well...

The market got shellacked again today. And so did our Rule Breakers along with it. The Nasdaq put up a 7% loss, we were shrunk 6%, the Motley Fool NOW 50 declined 3%, and the S&P 500 capitulated 2%.

These darned "New Economy" stocks! They're killing us! AAAaaaaaaaiiiiieeeeee.

Oops, sorry. I don't mean to be the one playing a sarcastic and frivolous note as the concert hall audience waves good-bye to 7% of its assets while the performance plays. Then again, my perspective is one that has seen the market go up 200% in the past five years. And so, my dear Fools, 7% doesn't count much for me -- either way.

Oh, I know, I know, the media at large are no doubt breathlessly reporting the day's events. Not just the financial media. The mainstream media. Dan Rather. Blue in the cheeks, with wild, rolling eyes, they tell us that today was the biggest point drop blah-de-blah, one of the worst percentage moves blah-de-blah. In history! "And what does it all mean?" they'll say, generally with the not-so-subtle implication that things must surely go from bad to worse and that finally, oh finally, finally, finally, "The Great Bull Market has ended."

You know, those are the same ones who asked us to think it "ended" the last bad week we had on the market -- a month or so ago.

Or a couple times last year.

Or the summer before that. That inscrutable "bull market"!

That's what they'll say. Here's what I say -- what WE'LL say if these words resonate with you and you'd like to adopt them for your own:


As the "asphyxiating" smoke clears at the end of a "furious" down day, the S&P now sits flat for the year. Our NOW 50? Up. For 2000, the Nasdaq's off 7% -- having begun the day as the S&P 500 closed it: flat for the year.

Are you panicking? You are? Do you have a memory? Any real sense of perspective? I knew you did! To succeed as an investor, you'll need these things and more. Equanimity earns you extra plaudits.

Ladies, gentlemen, and Fools, the market could get flattened a lot worse than this over any given month or year, and maybe it'll be this very month, or this year. Our Rule Breakers won't be treated too kindly in such an environment -- they usually aren't. We now show a year 2000 return of -14.42%, which is never very enjoyable but doesn't hold a candle to the embarrassment of riches that we and many of you have to show for ourselves these past many moons.

Oh, and you thought I meant from the stock market? No, I meant life in general. Life is beautiful.

David Gardner