There's an old proverb that seems especially true in these times of market unrest. It says something along the lines of, "When the wind blows, the tallest trees bend the most." At one point today, the Nasdaq was off over 11%, putting the index down almost 30% in less than a week. Feel those winds blowing? Here in the land of Rule Breakers, we sure are.

The Rule Breaker bent with the best of them today, as the numbers at the bottom of this page show. Being a portfolio filled with young, high-profile companies like Celera (NYSE: CRA) and (Nasdaq: AMZN), this is not terribly surprising.

With no real news beyond the market volatility to report on, I thought I'd go over the difference between what a fool (small f) and a Fool do when Fate temporarily rains on the market.

A non-Fool... Gets depressed and has an extra adult beverage because of the "bear market" or "correction" or "bubble pop" or whatever you want to call this week.
A real Fool... Laments because there is not more money available to add to the market at reduced prices, adult beverage optional.

A non-Fool... Gets into the stock market expecting annual gains of 30% or more.
A real Fool... Has a goal of beating the market and realizes that the historical market return is between 12-13% annually.

A non-Fool... Is found saying, "The Nasdaq, oh my gosh, is down 35% since March 10! Oh, the calamity!"
A real Fool... Says, "The Nasdaq is up 32% over the past 12 months. Cool."

A non-Fool... Rapidly trades out of stocks, hoping to "ride the storm out" and buy back at lower levels.
A real Fool... Continues to hold, realizing that market timing is something no one has been able to consistently do well.

A non-Fool... Has borrowed money to buy stocks and is sweating margin calls.
A real Fool... Uses little to no margin and doesn't have to worry about being forced to sell at the most inopportune moments.

A non-Fool... Is investing money needed in the next two years.
A real Fool... Is investing money not needed for two decades (or more).

A non-Fool... Is easily fed up with terrible short-term performance.
A real Fool... Realizes that the stock market remains the best place to invest for the long-term.

A non-Fool... Looks more at stock quotes than at the companies they represent. Today is a big day for them.
A real Fool... Realizes that buying a stock is buying a business, not a trading vehicle. Sans important news about their companies, today is no big deal.

A non-Fool... Will be checking stock and futures quotes from around the globe late Sunday night, hoping to see where the market will head on Monday morning.
A real Fool... Will be sleeping soundly.

A non-Fool... Acts like today is the end of the world. Contemplates never investing again.
A real Fool... Believes the world, while nowhere near perfect, is as good a place as it has ever been and is only getting better over time. Believes it is a world filled with companies worth investing in.

A non-Fool... Will let this week's market move ruin his weekend.
A real Fool... Will enjoy the weekend.

Be a Fool.