In this episode of Rule Breaker Investing, Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner, along with Andy Cross and Aaron Bush, answers listeners' questions. Topics include:

  • Why now is a great time to be investing in stocks.
  • Advice on savings.
  • Have $0 commissions changed investment behavior?
  • Why timing the market is a bad idea.
  • Putting the downturn in perspective for young investors.
  • A look at how China dealt with coronavirus.

To catch full episodes of all The Motley Fool's free podcasts, check out our podcast center. To get started investing, check out our quick-start guide to investing in stocks. A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on March 24, 2020.

David Gardner: The market drops 12% in one day. The market rises 8% in another. Whole year's worth of returns, up or down, mostly down, of course. Whole year's worth of market returns are happening on a given Monday or Thursday. Last week we did the Market Cap Game Show and Dave & Buster's, the arcade game restaurant chain, had dropped 46% in a single day. Today, as we record this Tuesday afternoon, Dave & Buster's is up 49% in a single day, though still way down from $45 a share to $15 a share in just the past month.

Only something like, I don't know, the first pandemic of my lifetime, probably yours too, could produce these kinds of crazy results.

Do you have some questions for us? Great, because it's our mailbag week. Would you like an inspirational and thoughtful story, or three, from your fellow Fools? Great, it's mailbag week. Your mailbag. Only on this week's Rule Breaker Investing.

Welcome back to Rule Breaker Investing, a delight to have you joining with me and us this week. In fact, since it's a mailbag week, I, of course, have friends along for the ride and that's the way these mailbags have worked, the last 50 or so that we've done over five years. And, indeed, my guest this week, you'll be familiar with them if you joined me for the Market Cap Game Show last week, because Aaron Bush and Andy Cross are back and I'm going to welcome them in just a few minutes, but first, I just want to share a couple of hot takes from Twitter.

Of course, Twitter is talking as much about the market as I've ever seen it do before, so there's a lot that's been tweeted, but I just want to filter it down to maybe just a couple tweets that feel like, yeah, today; feel like the time in which we're living. The first one is from EOLDoula, @leftlateral on Twitter, it reads simply, "Hi, David, I love when the market has dropped. It's shopping time."

And I absolutely appreciate that sentiment, EOLDoula. In fact, it is the right way to think about the markets if you're anywhere under the age, let's say, of 65, and I'm 53, so that sounds good to me. Certainly, thinking about some of the best companies of our time all of a sudden trading 30% lower than they were a month ago. It is shopping time, and just like when you shop at the store, the real question is, what are you going to buy?

The prices are pretty much set, so the real question is, which company, this one, not that one? And it's been really interesting for me to see some of the separation between companies that can adapt well to the present atmosphere, companies like Zoom or Netflix versus the ones that don't; restaurants and many other aspects of our society. And one thing is for certain, the first-half of the year 2020 is going to have some eye-popping recessionary economic contraction numbers, but the good news, I guess if there could be any in that environment is, I suspect, before too long, we'll snap back almost just as hard. So, this is a fast, hard, deep dive.

Stocks always go down faster than they go up, but they always go up more than they go down. So, we're seeing the first part of that line right now, but I suspect before long we'll see the second as well and things will at some point return to normal.

In the meantime, for EOLDoula and his or her ilk, it is shopping time. So, if you're a young investor, congratulations, you have much, much cheaper prices to buy the very same companies in many cases. In some cases, companies are even better than they were a month ago. I mean, you think about Zoom as a company and you just think about how many people are now using Zoom for free that weren't three or six months ago. And how generous Zoom has been, it is a free service, how many universities are leaning on this platform all of a sudden to conduct the very serious business of universities. And that's just one example, all civic associations, all kinds of health counseling and, of course, just socializing and getting our work done here at The Motley Fool, Zoom has been incredibly helpful.

So, you can see based on what happens, external conditions change, as it has been the case for all species, biologically, on this planet. For millions of years, external conditions changed, we each needed to adapt in order to survive. Sometimes it does feel like we're down at the survival level right now. I'm somebody who likes to spend as much time as I can, I bet you too, at the higher end of Maslow's Hierarchy, for those who know this construct. Right now, a lot of us are quite low and about to go lower; because April is not going to be a pretty month.

And I just want to say one more thing about that, I do expect, probably to lose people that I know, some people that I love, I don't really know, who knows what the future has in store; April is going to be a hard month and probably portions of May.

So, with my friends who are shortly joining me, we may have some chat this month, we may laugh here and there, because there's some combination of -- well, Fools should always be laughing. There's always a little gallows humor happening around pandemics as well. But more important, deadly seriously, I hope you're taking good care of yourself and of you and yours. And if you and yours is a bigger group, I hope you're maintaining that distancing that we're all supposed to. After all, coronavirus mostly has been transmitted among family members globally. So, it's something that's very important to be conscious of and to make your best decisions.

From my own doctor, I got a communication a couple of days ago, which I appreciated, he said, he didn't like the phrase "social distancing," he doesn't think that's right; I agree with him. He said the better phrase is "physical distancing," because that's really what we're being asked to do. Socially, here you are listening to this podcast, you're connecting. Here I am connecting with my friends; we're doing this podcast from our respective homes and apartments this week. From my producer, Rick Engdahl, with his stunningly great Zoom backdrop that he probably took that photo himself, right through to Andy and Aaron who are joining me. So, yeah, we're doing this from our homes, but this is a time of social coming together in some profound ways, I suspect, both, in local ways and in global ways that wouldn't happen otherwise without this tragedy.

So, I want to punch that home, I think it's a time of physical distancing. I hope, for you, it's not a time of social distancing.

And then one other tweet, this is from @AlexJLindblad. Alex you wrote, "David G. Fool and Chris Hill, I've been catching up in the last months of the podcast and as fate would have it, I landed on the day the market crashed, today ... " this is just the last few days " ... very serendipitous, as the timing could not have been more perfect. Thank you, both, for all that you do."

Well, that's very kind of you to say, Alex, we appreciate that. That was a special episode, we did it on January 15th of this year. You're kind to say, it was very serendipitous, because in fact, I think the timing probably could have been better. I think, it would have been better if you'd heard it on the day of, you maybe would have taken some action on it, instead we're hearing it maybe after the market has dropped a lot, but I hope at least you felt kinship and some empathy and some recognition that we're all in this together.

Both, the market drops and the market rises. And again, the good news, the market rises far more often and far more than it drops. But these times count too. So, thanks for the note, Alex.

And, yeah, maybe one more tweet, which is a great way of welcoming my two guest stars this week. Aaron Bush and Andy Cross. I guess it makes sense for me to read this last tweet, this is from Don Karpick, @TokyoBoiler. Don writes, "@aaronbush100 is an amazing talent at the Market Cap Game Show. By the end of the podcast, I was feeling great empathy for @AndyCCross. I would definitely enjoy @DavidGFool's role as Alex Trebek."

And thank you for that, Don. And, yeah, I'm sure glad, I don't have to play against Aaron. Andy, you did and you've lived to tell the tale.

Andy Cross: Barely, David. I don't know if I've actually lived to tell the tale. Depending on what happens with the Tokyo Olympics, but if they do have the Market Cap Game in the Olympics someday, I hope that Aaron Bush represents The Motley Fool in the Market Cap Olympics challenge, because he clearly is the reigning champion.

Aaron Bush: Well, last week my girlfriend said, "Close your eyes," and so I closed my eyes. Then she was like, "What's the market cap of Apple?" So, I said a number. Then she's like, "What color shirt am I wearing?" And I just, I couldn't answer. So, that is how my brain works, just because I know market caps, I'm really losing out in a lot of other areas of my life apparently --

Cross: Your priorities are set, Aaron.

Gardner: It certainly worked for this podcast, Aaron. And that was a lot of fun. And, Andy, you were a great sport and I would never want to compete against Aaron. Aaron did, very graciously, afterwards Slack me, "Hey, you read out all kinds of stocks that we know," in the previous one, I had included some stocks that were outside of The Motley Fool coverage universe, where Aaron presumably would be more vulnerable. I was intentionally doing that last time, because I felt it's comforting to talk about stocks that we're all talking about and covering during this time, when the market is dropping, so, but little did I expect that Aaron would be ready to just pounce like a jaguar. But, Andy, again, you were a very good support and you are an amazing investor, that's why I'm having you and Aaron on, this week, because I want some kinship, I want to hang out with people that I really respect and hear their viewpoints as well.

We've got a lot of mailbag questions, I say, guys, we get started.

Bush: Let's do it.

Cross: Go for it.

Gardner: Alright, mailbag item No. 1, "Hi, guys, I hope all is well. What a market?" This one comes from JC. Thank you, JC. JC goes on, "I know this might not be the most pressing question right now, but I was wondering about your advice on savings rates. I know you say work toward 25% ... " I guess, did I say that, if I did say that, JC, that's a very ambitious number. I think, often we'll say through Motley Fool podcasts and our radio show and just general advice you'll hear on answers on our site, we'll say things like, try to save 10% of your salary. We love that idea of double-digits and one-tenth, tithe yourself, but 25% is certainly manageable for some people. And, JC, it sounds like you're one of those extreme savers. Anyway, let's keep going, "I know you say, work toward 25%, but is this number just for retirement savings? If so, what about savings outside of retirement accounts, would more short-term savings, like, say, savings for a Christmas fund or a vacation fund count in that?" JC closes, "The reason I ask is, I've been looking to get to 25% saved into retirement accounts, I'm close, at around 22.5%, but I'm finding it difficult to save money into non-taxable accounts. Any advice would be appreciated."

Andy, I'm turning to you.

Cross: David, I actually think it's a very pressing question, especially in these times when we have to think about savings, we have stocks, as you mentioned, down in very low territories. And so, saving for retirement and putting that money away, I think is really important now. So, that 25% actually comes from, like, a Fidelity study. Robert Brokamp, our retirement expert, has talked about this.

Somewhere between, it is aggressive I think, and he's doing great at almost 23%. So, I think we like to say, if you can get to 15% of your income into retirement accounts, that's great and then build that up. Obviously, the earlier you start, the better you're going to be. The latter you start, you have to save even more. So, he should really applaud himself for thinking about savings. And that is really for your retirement and your investment accounts not for your emergency fund, you really should have three to six months, I think, of emergency capital in case something happens. Again, especially now with your job, depending on what your job is. So, I think savings is very pressing. I really applaud him for thinking about that. Keep plowing away, if you can get to that 25% for your retirement and toward your future, that's really great to keep doing that.

Gardner: Thank you, Andy. And thanks, JC. Alright, mailbag item No. 2. This one comes from Maureen. "Hi, David and company, my name is Maureen. I'm a nurse in Denver, Colorado." Well, God bless you, Maureen. Thank you very much. You know, we never want to forget that our healthcare providers aren't just healthcare providers, they're people too. And certainly, part of the story of our time is making sure we keep people like Maureen safe, well-equipped and non-anxious. And I know, depending on where you are in this country, things could be bad or good. It doesn't sound so great in New York City to me these days, I hope, Maureen, things are better in Denver. Anyway, she goes on, "I'm a nurse in Denver, Colorado. I have questions about stock buybacks. There's a lot of talk about businesses needing bailing out and scrutiny into those that have used their excess free cash flow to buy back shares." Aaron and Andy, "What are other ways companies use their free cash flow to support their business? How might companies be affected if restrictions on buybacks come attached to bailout funds?" That's the question guys, she closes. "Thanks for all you do. I'm a fairly recent investor, a member of, both, Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers. I appreciate the thought you put in all your services, including the podcast. I hope you're all staying safe and healthy during these different times. Sincerely, Maureen Miller."

So, yeah, there is, of course, talk about who might get bailed out and how, and then some people saying, "Well, gee, some of these companies they're talking about getting bailed out, guys, were buying back their own shares that are now down, that wasn't very good capital allocation." The question really is, what are other ways companies use their free cash flow to support their business?

Bush: Sure. There are lots of other ways a company can use its free cash flow to support its business. Obviously, I hope that share repurchases as a whole, the perception around that doesn't get completely ruined, because it is a fair practice. I think, when companies have a fragile business. Yeah, it's a problem if they're taking on debt, for example, that they don't need to buy back shares, but other things a company can do, they can reinvest into research and development to come up with new solutions, they can hire more people to work on new projects, they can spend more money on marketing in order to expand their reach and serve more people. Really, there are just lots of things a company can do. And actually, it depends on the business. So, just reinvest in what they already do best or try to branch out a little bit. That has nothing to do with financial engineering of any type, it really just goes to the business that they're in and doing that even better.

Gardner: Yes, thank you, Aaron. And Andy Cross, you know, we often talk about the companies with the great balance sheets, these are the companies that we often try to recommend in our services. A company like Alphabet has an amazing balance sheet with a lot of cash. Many industries just don't run that way, don't have those kinds of margins, we can think about airlines. Airlines are kind of lower margin, very heavy equipment, very expensive businesses to run, and if you start not flying your planes and have a lot of debt, that puts you in a tough position. Andy, what are your thoughts, if you could wave your magic wand and bail some companies out, but not all of them, how would you decide the bailouts from the non-bailouts?

Cross: Yeah, Dave, it's really, obviously, a tricky question with a lot of moral hazard tied to it. The businesses that I think are absolutely critical to our infrastructure to our way of life that if they went away tomorrow, the U.S. economy and U.S. consumers would really feel it, so that would probably be my first bar. There are a lot of companies that have not really been managed all that well. To take a company like GE [General Electric]. I mean, just for years and years just the paradigm of American commerce, I think, over the last 100 years, but it really struggled. So, I think you have to look at some financial decisions some of the companies have made and try to make that determining factor of not to support those versus the other ones.

Clearly, you mentioned, there are so many of our businesses we love and love to recommend and personally have such stout balance sheets and great business models, focus on growth and wise investment. Some of those companies, though, just haven't been run very well. But in general, I think, if I could wave a magic wand or grand Pooh-Bah, I think I would really focus on the companies that are absolutely a necessity to the U.S. economy.

Gardner: Alright, very well put. And good luck, Maureen; thank you for your service. Alright mailbag item No. 3, we'll just call this a note of encouragement. This one's from Anthony. Anthony whose screen name on The Motley Fool, I believe, is Ballroom Blitz, which you got to love, and that's going to be threaded in this short note of encouragement. "Hi, David, I've been listening to your podcast for years now. I'm also a Rule Breakers subscriber. As a fellow teacher, ballroom dancing, and parent, I just wanted to reach out and say, "Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement, even a for person, such as myself, needs a guide through these interesting times ... "" And, Andy, there is referencing one of my favorite lines from Roy Spence, who says, "I'm a for person, not an against person, because I'm a for person." So, Anthony is identifying himself as a fellow for person, you tend to be a positive for things kind of a person, but even you and I, Anthony, need a guide through these interesting times. "I know that I cannot be the only listener you effect, if my appreciation could be of any comfort, know that your influence travels beyond your scope. It is the curse of the teacher to never see the fruits of his labor. You will never realize the extent of your range, nor be able to measure your magnitude. Hey, we're all here to make the world a better place, right. Keep fighting the good fight. Stay Foolish. And Motley ... " and he concludes with my "fare thee well" word of the month "Vale." Thank you, Anthony, vale.

Well, that's a very kind note, but I just want to say, just not on behalf of me but on behalf of all Motley Fool podcasts, and not just our podcast but really our entire business, our site. We've had a lot of fun with some of our members testing a new Motley Fool Live streaming video platform over the last week. Aaron and Andy, I've seen you both on Motley Fool Live, which is the equivalent of a Fool TV channel on our website. This past week -- again, this is just being beta-tested with a small portion of our members, although we started to open it up over the weekend to anybody for free. So, that might be a little bit of a sign of things to come for The Motley Fool, but these are all ways that we are trying to help. And so, speaking on behalf of everybody who broadcast in any way, shape or form here at The Motley Fool. Thank you, Anthony.

Alright, Rule Breaker mailbag item No. 4. Aaron and Andy, I'm going to entitle this one, I sold a third of my portfolio and it seems to have worked. So, that's the rubric we'll give Rule Breaker mailbag item No. 4. An inspiring note from Greg Roh. Thank you, Greg, for this note. "Dear, David. As a faithful listener to the Rule Breaker Investing podcast and a Rule Breakers and Stock Advisor member, I wanted to let you know that I broke a rule. One that you put a fresh spin on when The Motley Fool tweeted a while ago, wash your hands and then sit on them." Which was, both, health and investing advice from our @TheMotleyFool social media account on Twitter. Which I loved and shared on a recent podcast, wash your hands and then sit on them. Anyway, Greg continues, "last weekend ... " that's March 7th to 8th, so it's a couple weekends ago now. " ... I assessed the news from many different sources and I decided to "catch the falling night" on Monday and sold about a third of my portfolio that was all in an S&P 500 fund. And losing a further +7% just that day as I sold out. Ouch!" Greg writes.

He goes on, "I did this with the near certainty of a continued decline in the market based on the foreseeable supply chain and manufacturing impacts as well as knowing that social distancing ... " I'm going to go with physical distancing here " ... measures would be coming around the U.S. and elsewhere that would impact retail, dining, travel and hospitality sectors partially. Beyond this, I view the Federal government's underreaction and ill-preparedness to this crisis as an amplifying factor. Our lack of testing is only masking the severity." Greg asserts. "Looking at the 1,000 or so cases of COVID-19 when I made that decision, especially their broad geographic spread along with the transmissibility of the virus, it's unavoidable the cases will bloom across the country. Containment is over, mitigation is challenging us. This will all have negative cascading effects on the market. Guys ... " Greg concludes, " ... I know this is a cardinal sin of investing, but I see this rule as being based on the general unpredictability of the market. I broke it with what I see is a rather predictable near future and now have a stockpile of cash to work with. That is safe for now. Of note, while I hung on to all of my equities ... " that's important, Andy, all of his equities, " ... all of which have come from your services, by the way, to include ... " and he includes a few ticker symbols, including, for example, Disney or Texas Roadhouse, " ... that I know will be hammered. I also invested more into services that I see as beneficial and necessary to these troubling times, Zoom and Teladoc. Fool on! Greg."

So, now you guys see why entitled this, I sold a third of my portfolio and it seems to have worked. Andy, what are initial thoughts you have, listening to Greg's story?

Cross: I like the terminology of it seemed to have worked, because I think, in general, we say, yes, trying to time the market of highs and lows and buy back in. I do like the fact that Greg was saying, hey, I'm moving out of, like, a general index fund or maybe an ETF and I think I can use that capital as long as he wants to use that capital to invest in great businesses. It sounds like he is continuing to invest in great businesses. So, the key thing here, really, David, in my mind is, if you really have to look at that pool of capital as your invested capital, you want to look to at five, ten years of investing. He didn't identify if it's retirement money or not, but let's just assume it's long-term capital.

I don't advocate trying to time the markets, I do love the spirit of trying to find great long-term businesses he wants to invest in, and saw this as an opportunity and sees as an opportunity to identify some capital that he thinks he can move into better positioned investments, like, some of our recommendations, some of those great businesses, so I love that spirit. Timing the market, we try to want to try to avoid that as much as you can.

Gardner: And I certainly agree. Aaron, it's hard not to hear that and feel a little bit of envy though. I mean, he did, I think, still get out ahead of more downdraft and who knows where the market will be trading as this podcast is published on Wednesday or even two days after that, we shall see. What it sounded to me, we have here is, we have a very rational player, who is just making a call here. He did save all his stocks though, but he's sitting on a big cash pile that I'm not.

Bush: I'm not sitting on a cash pile either. I think that if you want to sell in order to buy things you like better, that's a great plan, but if you are selling in order to have a bunch of cash, not only are you timing the market on when to sell, but you also need to time the market when to get back in. And so, you have to be right twice, which is hard. And I've seen a lot of people, across our discussion boards or on Zoom, talking about how they want to buy back in once things return more to normal, but that's basically admitting that you're going to wait for higher prices, which sounds foolish to me.

And really, when you zoom out a bit, the market goes up most years, most months, most days and so you just have to understand that the long-term math of what normally happens is working against you when you're holding cash, especially when the market is already down about 30%. So, I definitely lean more in the camp of, I'm all-in all the time and I'm always in on my best ideas. And I encourage most people to think that way.

Gardner: Very well put, Aaron. I'm much like you, that's why I can't help but feel a tinge of envy for somebody who may have saved quite a bit. I do like what Greg has done. He's basically exiting his index fund and probably investing in stocks. Now, a lot of people would counsel the opposite, much of the world thinks that you really shouldn't invest directly in stocks, you should just buy funds. That's obviously not the case on this podcast or so many of our Motley Fool members over the years, and I think there we really demonstrate good reasons as to why it is worth owning stocks directly, not just, as I like to say, mailing it in with the fund.

So, I'll say this, Greg, I really appreciate just you sharing your perspective. I like to share lots of Motley perspectives on this podcast. We don't toe to a single line of thought or action here either on this podcast or even at The Motley Fool, we're motley, and so, Greg, you're part of that and we wish you the best.

Well, I just heard a little bird in my ear. In fact, it's my producer Rick Engdahl surmising with his typical wit, probably rhetorically, is Greg a Rule Breaker breaker. We'll leave that rhetorical.

Alright Rule Breaker mailbag item No. 5. "Hi, there, David and team," writes Steve Brodure AKA daisydad on the Motley Fool forums. "I love the whole concept of spiffy-pops, I haven't come close to experiencing one yet, but I have more chances every day now that I have some individual companies in my portfolio rather than just mutual funds. Despite having been with The Fool since back when you had paper newsletters delivered by snail-mail." Wow, that was quite a long time ago, Steve. Thank you. Thank you for being -- I think we had about 330 subscribers at our height as a paper newsletter. Our height was the 12th month, the final month when we published it, I think, we're topping at about 335 subscribers. We had added a 100 in just a few months before that, then we thought, "You know, maybe we should go online instead of this whole paper newsletter thing." Anyway, thanks, Steve.

He goes on. "I've only been in individual stocks, though, since mid-2016, so I haven't had the pleasure of a spiffy-pop yet. I do have a two-bagger in MercadoLibre, up a 145% since 2016. I also have some laggards that look sad in the current downdraft. How about Kinder Morgan or Redfin ?" The only one I have abandoned so far is FireEye. I haven't experienced an un-spiffy-drop either. I currently have around 8% of my total retirement portfolio in Starshot 2019." That's another Motley Fool service.

But here's his question. "How many spiffy-drops have there been in The Fool recommendation history?" Now, I think Steve's asking this, because I talk a lot about spiffy-pops, so I'm not going to redefine the term here. Sure, we have some new listeners, but just google spiffy-pop, if you don't know what the heck we're talking about. But he concludes, "At least two opposing generalities that might impact the relative frequency of spiffy-pops versus spiffy-drops. One is, that the market goes up more than it goes down; so that would side with spiffy-pops. Unfortunately, the other is, that the market often goes down a lot faster than it goes up, what can be said about the relative frequency of these two events across The Motley Fool history of recommendations? Keep up the good work. Wish I had some dry powder to invest these days. Fool on! Steve Brodure."

Well, let's do some simple math here, shall we, guys? In order to have a spiffy-drop, that means your stock droped more in a single day then you paid for it with your cost-basis way back when. So, let's give a quick example. If you bought a stock at $25 and the stock had gotten to $75 a share. So, it had tripled for you maybe five years later. And then, let's say last Monday, it went from $75 down to $45 in a single day, you just lost $30 a share on the stock and you only paid $25 a share for it in the first place. That is indeed a spiffy-drop.

And if you have googled, dear listeners, our spiffy-pop page, you'll see we have a section on spiffy-drops and other forms of spiffy for people who really want to get into this, like me, for example. But, Aaron and Andy, a spiffy-drop, here's the good news with spiffy-drops. The only way you can really have one is if you've had a great stock, right? Am I missing something mathematically?

Bush: I think that's normally the case, unless it's a really, really bad day, in which case you're probably not in a great place. But those days are rare, but I think that's right, normally, in order for a stock to go down as much as the price at which you initially purchased it at, it's probably doing pretty well for you.

Gardner: So, Aaron, you're saying, for example, that $25 share stock example, if you just bought the stock and the next day it goes to zero, you experienced a one-of-a-kind, and it'll be one-time as well, spiffy-drop, but that doesn't happen very often. I don't think it's ever happened to us.

Bush: I don't think so. It hasn't happened to me at least, fortunately.

Gardner: [laughs] So, Andy, the good news is, spiffy-drops only pop-up after probably spiffy-pops, and indeed we've had a lot of spiffy-drops in these last couple of weeks and it's among our stocks that have spiffy-popped the most. So, I think that's -- I'm trying to underline that as truism here. Do you want to add anything?

Cross: Well, David, it also gets to your point, I think the terminology you used is stocks maybe go up on an escalator and come down an elevator, it was some metaphor along those lines. So, you could sometimes have a stock that does very, very well. In your example, let's say, it goes from $25 to $75, maybe that takes a long time to do that, and then all of a sudden very quickly, in a day, whack, it just gets hit for spiffy-drop.

So, that sometimes can be a little bit demoralizing for an investor to feel that, but you have to understand the success to have that is, as Aaron was saying, you need to have that, in your example, the stock has to go up 3X in value for you to even think about having that spiffy-drop.

Gardner: Alright. Well put, Andy. Thank you, Aaron. So, hope that makes it clear for you, Steve. Spiffy-drops are only ever going to show up when you've had an amazing investment. As Andy pointed out, it doesn't feel good when it happens so fast like that, but in our experience the pops way outnumber the drops, but you gotta be ready to take both in life.

Will you hang around for one more question, guys?

Bush: Okay.

Gardner: Excellent. You know, on the back-half of this week's podcast I'm going to share the last few mailbag items, they're all stories. Because I find them pretty inspirational. I love to hear how you, whoever you are, I feel like I'm Mister Rogers, a Romper Room here. Agnes or William, I like to hear -- I can see you out there, Andrew. I like to hear your stories of how you invest and how you're thinking about investing and rule breaking during this unusual time. So, it's the all stories back-half of the podcast here coming up. So, this will be the final question. It's great again, thank you, Aaron and Andy, for joining me.

This one comes from Robert Scalia. Robert writes, "David, first thanks for the constant education on a broad range of topics helping me to become smarter, happier and, yes, richer. I started investing when I was 18 years old. I went to a service academy, free from tuition, so my parents gave me $2,000 a year to invest into an IRA. At the time that was the limit, I remember fees to buy the stock were about $35 each. So, to keep costs down I would put all $2,000 into a single stock, and that was in 1994." That coincidentally is the year The Motley Fool debuted online. "In the 25 years since, I've learned a lot, it's become cheaper than ever to invest. Even with $5 to $8 trades a year ago, I'd typically wait until I had enough money to buy a stock and do it all in one lot. Now with $0 trades, I'm not sure of the best way to invest in stocks."

Robert goes on, "I invest about $1,500 a month. I've started by once-a-month, basically dollar-cost averaging into a stock over several months." And we love that approach to investing, Robert, we love dollar-cost averaging. Which just basically means, regularly saving and then just that week putting the money into the market in the form of a stock. Or that's ultimately the question, Aaron, that he's asking here, which is, should he be investing differently now.

So, he gives an example, he says, "After $0 commissions were announced, I started to buy BILI, that's Bilibili on the Nasdaq, that's a Rule Breaker pick. He said, he started at $17, he got some more shares at $18, more at $20. That was over several months, he says, but he currently has a lot of companies that he still wants to buy into, even currently owning as many as he has, there are at least five to ten he can think of that he'd like to buy shares of now. And I can easily understand that in the present environment, some people are licking their chops, Robert.

So, his question is basically, with $0 commissions, is it better to continue doing what he's doing and just buy one new company, Aaron, every few months or should he be buying smaller slices of companies each month, let's say, $250 into six stocks each month? What are your thoughts, have $0 commissions changed us into buying baskets of stocks instead of just single shots?

Bush: Well, I think it certainly makes it easier to. And I really don't think there is a wrong answer here. If you want to own many more stocks, then sure, a basket approach where you buy a little bit less of several of them is a totally valid way to go. If you want to invest in a certain trend or category, but aren't sure what are the best one or two stocks in that category, a basket is right for that or if you just want exposure to learn more and then add to your favorite stocks later in time a basket approach is also good for that.

I would say that if you have high conviction, though, in any particular one stock or two stocks, yeah, it probably is worth forgoing a basket approach, at least that month to buy more of what you like most, but even with that, you can change your approach month-to-month depending on what you see and what you like. And, of course, in either approach, hopefully, you can add to your winners over time and be flexible in how you think about that.

But really, just congrats for starting early. For dollar-cost averaging, being a constant buyer is a great place to be, whether you're buying one stock a month or five stocks a month. And I think that as long as you're buying what you like and what you think can win and adding to the winners over time, you're in a great place to be.

Gardner: You know I did review the six traits of a Rule Breaker investor, in fact, I did it for the fun of it on our new Motley Fool Live platform TV on our website over the weekend, just a teaching session for some of our members. And I was reminded of trait No. 5 of the Rule Breaker investor, which is, max 5% allocation. And that's just our way of saying that, I don't think anybody should ever start a new position in a portfolio that's more than 5% of that portfolio. So, Andy, there is no right number of stocks for anybody to own. There might be some wrong numbers, like, maybe just one, but I don't think there -- is there any upside in your mind? And in the end, spreading out your bet so that you're well-diversified. You can let those positions concentrate over time, if you have some winners that drive it up, that's certainly how I invest, but any final thoughts, Andy?

Cross: No, David, you're right. I think if you are going to manage a concentrated portfolio, you really have to understand those businesses. And I'm talking, like, just a few stocks. And for 99.9% of the investors out there, that's not the approach we recommend. We really want you building out a portfolio of 15, 30 maybe even more stocks now. I've been adding stocks to my portfolio, new, small positions, just like Aaron was saying and starting those positions out. And then I will add to those as I feel more confident in either the stock price or that's just how I want to build out my allocation strategy and make sure I'm diversified enough, but you really do want to own many stocks, whether it's in Rule Breakers or Stock Advisor, across our services, and build out your portfolio of diversified great businesses. Because for most investors out there, it just really helps with our mindset.

Gardner: Well, as I say goodbye to you gentlemen, it occurs to me to ask, how many stocks do you have? In my portfolios that I manage across my kids' portfolios, I think overall, we have about 55 stocks taken all-in-all.

Bush: I would say, I probably have around 50 stocks, probably around where you are.

Cross: Yeah, the same for me, David, I've been buying stocks for the past couple of weeks and adding new positions to my portfolio, so it's probably right around 50.

Gardner: Huh! So, I mean, I'm surprised that we're all that, kind of, gravitationally attracted to the number 50. There's no right number for anybody, it just so happens that the three Fools talking to you right now have fairly similarly allocated portfolios. But you know, your mileage may vary. Everybody is different. Robert, I hope that was helpful and thank you for writing in.

Alright, well, I want to thank Aaron and Andy again for your time this week, great to hear from you guys and stay Foolish out there.

Bush: Thanks, David.

Cross: Thanks, David.

Gardner: Alright. So, six down and three to go. Yep, I wanted to frontload with questions, but as I mentioned, I wanted to backload it this week with stories. And I just have three great Fools writing in with their different perches in the world and their viewpoints. And in particular, I think the first one I find interesting, because it comes from a friend of mine, Michael, who lives in Tianjin in China, which is basically a city of about 15 million people, a couple of hours away from Beijing on the coast. It's kind of like, if Beijing had been a port city it would have wanted to be Tianjin. Tianjin is a really important, one the world's largest ports.

And so, my friend Michael, who's a longtime listener wrote this, and it's just his perspective. And the reason I'm sharing with you is because, Tianjin is on the other side of the coronavirus for the most part of this point. And so, Michael shares, as a fellow American in his case, he shares his perspective on what it was like and how they got through it and where they are now. So, he entitled the email, how could I not share this, Vale from The Middle Kingdom. So, here comes Michael from Tianjin.

And I should mention, just before I start this, since time is moving so fast these days, this I received eight days ago. So, I queued it up for the mailbag, but no doubt, Tianjin has changed in the last eight days. I bet, wherever you are, whoever you are, dear, fellow Fool, things have rapidly changed in one way or another in the last eight days. One can only imagine the next eight or the eight after that. So, I do feel like time is flying in a way it doesn't normally. So, this might be a little dated, but for those of us, at least in the Far West of the world, it feels like the future, not the past.

So, Michael writes, "I hope you and your family are well. Unfortunately, I can see the COVID-19 crisis, which we've been dealing with here in China for nearly two months, has now found its way to your shores. I appreciated your "Wash your darn hands!" encouragement, I've been saying the same thing here for weeks now. It seems folks believe wearing a mask will save them regardless of what they do with their hands, and that makes no sense to me. Unfortunately, masks here are mandatory in public and many folks have also taken up wearing goggles and gloves of any variety; dishwashing gloves, disposable gloves, anything. You've probably seen the various reports online, what's been going on in China, but I'll summarize from a man-on-the-ground in a city that had just over 100 cases, that's right, just 100 cases for its population of 15 million. Not bad ... "

Michael goes on, " ... but still scary. Effectively everything has been shut for six weeks except food distribution points, such as, grocery stores, convenience stores and food markets and also garbage pickup. Restaurants, bars, schools, cinemas, everything shut. Our kids have been doing school remotely now for six weeks. Additionally, the government developed a phone app that all people had to download, and a barcode system that every business has had to post on their door. Each time a person approaches any business, they scan the code, then have their temperature checked before they can enter. The idea, of course, being that later, if someone turned up sick, the government could quickly backtrack and see where they had been and who else might have been exposed. It makes sense on one level, but I find having my temperature checked and having to scan in multiple places, multiple times a day is annoying and intrusive, but I guess it has worked. The practice was to just assume everyone is sick until proven otherwise and basically be paranoid. Many places, like the bank, require an appointment a day in advance to be allowed to visit. We've mostly been using grocery delivery for this whole time. The deliveries came to the front of our apartment building. And anything that didn't need to be refrigerated, we left in our entryway or mudroom for a couple days where we also shed our jackets and outdoor clothes. That room we disinfected regularly."

"As things start to ramp back up, first week offices in my city are open again. And malls have begun to open, although cinemas remain closed, it's challenging to get everyone through the lines. On my way to the office, I get scanned at the subway entrance, then as I enter the mall basement to go to my office, scanned again, then into the office tower itself, scanned again. Out at lunch to buy something, the same, and then on the way home, the reverse. Tiring, but I guess effective. We are at the point now, after having been through this for weeks, that some people are starting to break the rules a bit. Everyone has fatigue from this process, they're holding larger, private gatherings, they're sneaking into the closed parks for a walk and carrying their masks instead of wearing them when outside. I can't imagine what will happen if cases start to pop back up again."

"And now, anyone coming in from a foreign country is being put into a hotel for 14-day quarantine at their own cost. The main concern now is the virus coming in from outside China. Loads of teachers who'd been away, coming back to China, now facing two-weeks in a local Chinese hotel. Estimates are that even with low air traffic a few million people may soon be coming back into China and quickly fill up the hotel rooms. That'll be interesting. And maybe from the perspective of the previously empty hotel operators, a good problem to have. We'll see."

Michael begins to conclude, "The government has realized the economy is now in big trouble. They've tried to restart in stages. First get big factories going again, but then realized they need small factories to help supply the big factories, this in turn requires restaurants to feed the workers, etc. It was easy to wave a wand and shut everything down. It's certainly not easy to restart piecemeal, because how things are linked is pretty complicated. And office workers at home trying to care for young kids may be working, but they aren't very effective."

"One way people stayed busy during the shutdown was by logging into our equivalent of the CDC website and checking the daily details of total cases, new cases, recovered, died, serious cases, all updated multiple times a day. And then one could drill down to the province and city, even the district level. The site got more detailed over time with graphs and charts. It's probably the most transparent the government has been with data about bad news. And folks are still skeptical about how true it is. That's the downside of running an authoritarian state. People often don't fully trust the official news."

"For businesses and the Chamber of Commerce, we've converted to loads of Zoom and Microsoft Teams meetings, that'll certainly help those technologies get wider exposure more quickly. And as things get started back up, one of the busiest places seems to be barber shops. It's starting to look like the 1970s around here with most folks not having a hat of haircut in two months and lots of men figuring, 'Well, if you have to wear a mask all the time, why shave?' So, for all you in the U.S., I say, wash your hands and if you can get a haircut. If things tighten down there, like they did here, you'll be glad you did in a month or so. Be well, vale, Michael."

Oh, Michael, I really want to thank you for that perspective. It's kind of an eye-opener for those of us in the West. In our case, anyway, I'm not sure we have many barber shops still open in the greater Washington DC.. area. Many businesses are closing down. I guess one of the good problems the Gardner brothers have with not having much hair is that it's not as much of a problem for us, but for others, maybe my sons, for example, it's going to start to look a little silly. And, hey, we could all use a little bit more 1970s in our lives once again from time-to-time, couldn't we?

Anyway, beyond the humorous but practical ending to your note, your perspective about what it took in China to overcome this and to keep cases as low as they did, is a big eye-opener for me in terms of the precautions all of us need to take to "phrase of the year" flatten the curve. And so, I take that to heart and I'll be thinking about that too. And I'm glad that I had the opportunity through this podcast to share out your perspective to as many people as possible. Thank you, Michael.

Alright. And before I close with our last two stories, I should mention, I got a lot more than these, and they were all heartfelt, so one part of me feels bad that I can't share everybody's story, but I feel that way every mailbag, the other part of me thinks, we got to keep this show moving and not burden my good producer, Rick Engdahl, with too much content or you, my listener, I try to bring these in around an hour for mailbag. So, we'll see how we do here, but these are great stories.

So, let me next go to story No. 2, Rule Breaker mailbag item No. 8. And this one comes from Ben Adams. Ben, you wrote, "Hi, David, I hope you and your team are well and keeping safe. I first wrote to you in October 2018. It was featured on the mailbag that month, which was called It's All Treats." October 2018 where Ben was discussing and reflecting on "how I've learned to manage my emotions against volatile times. Well, I can't imagine a better time than now to deliver an update."

Ben goes on, "I'm a Digital Designer in England. I'm in my mid-30s, so a millennial just about. I've been investing for around eight years, perhaps optimistically, I still refer to myself as a young investor. In hindsight, I've made some terrible investment decisions, but I've also made some very good ones. Thanks to The Motley Fool, the good ones have vastly outweighed the bad."

"I've continued to buy-and-hold throughout this time adding to winners, not doubling-down on losers, but the last 18 months or so had me feeling slightly uneasy. Every commentator seemed to be warning how expensive the market was. As a long-term ... " and then he stops and says, "No, I'm not going to say it, as I don't want a dead-arm." And you know I appreciate that, Ben. "I realize it's futile to try and time the market, but a part of me was very aware that I've only ever been investing throughout a historic bull market and that the market was historically expensive. How on earth would I react when a downturn eventually happens? Well, enter coronavirus. Wow!"

You're right, Ben, when I wrote to you in October 2018, I explained that part of my strategy is to only login to my portfolio account once-a-week. And now I remember that mailbag item, because I always thought that's great. I mean, I don't do that myself, I love to check my portfolio at least once-a-day unless I'm out or busy all day. I love just following the game of it. I love the discipline of fellow Fools who can just check in once-a-week or a month. I think we've had somebody write in once who just checks it quarterly, which is amazing to me.

Anyway, Ben rocking the next word, I would say this is more British English, a word that I always love, "Whilst I often checked what the stocks themselves were doing, I insulated myself from the tangible monetary impact in a bid to prevent emotion-based decisions. Well, guess what, as everything began to plummet, I couldn't help myself. I had to check my account multiple times a day. March 9th, my single biggest daily monetary loss ever, I noted the day and the figure down in my investment diary. What a day! Feeling low, I decided to look back through my diary at happier times. Throughout the years, I've simply recorded my portfolio value on a weekly basis every Monday morning. My portfolio value had dropped all the way back to where it was in December 2019. Huh!" Ben realized, "Well, that doesn't seem so bad, right? Since then, of course, the fall has worsened, a further drop from here could be massive, we simply don't know. I've continued to check my account on a daily basis."

"But here's the thing, that feeling of slight unease I had for the last 18 months has given way to a slight feeling of relief. Initially this confused me, my portfolio is down 30%. I wrote down my thoughts to help and here's what I came up with. I feel these are conclusions that apply to everyone, but particularly millennials investing their first big drop, like me. I hope you can share. And indeed, I will each one, there are six of them, is a short lesson with a bottom-line takeaway."

"No, 1, I have always invested with the intention of not touching my funds for at least a decade or two, therefore, I've always made sure I've only invested money I'm willing to lock away for a long time." His bottom-line for this one, "Having an emergency fund means portfolio value doesn't have an immediate impact on the life security of you and your family." And you said bottom-line, I'm going to double-underline that bottom-line, Ben, that's important and well said. And Andy and Aaron spoke to that earlier.

"No. 2, no one saw this coming." His bottom-line on that one, things can change quickly. And before going to No. 3, I'll just add, I agree with you. In fact, if you ever use Google Trends, where you can type in any given search term and just see what looks like a stock graph of the popularity of that search over periods of time, check out "coronavirus" sometimes, just type that into Google Trends. It was basically, as of November 2019, a non-entity on the internet and within just the last four months it's become among the most searched terms I believe in the entire online world, but it was not even putting out any signal I saw recently as of November of last year.

So, I agree, Ben. While Bill Gates and others have spoken to the dangers of a pandemic, no one saw this coming at least when it did.

Your lesson No. 3. "The same commentators that warned about the market being expensive are now warning about its drop." Ben's bottom-line, they are commentators, they don't know what's going to happen but it's their job to talk about it, it's up to you and me how much we choose to listen.

Lesson No. 4, "Thousands of relatively young investors like me are experiencing our first downturn, it's confusing and scary, but a look at any historical price chart suggests that it too shall pass." Ben's bottom-line, this is giving thousands of young investors an invaluable experience in testing our own psychology and discipline, embrace it, understand it, learn from it.

And before going to your last two, Ben, I just want to opine, I did a media interview with AARP, which is the American Association of Retired Persons, earlier today. And I was talking about the great comfort that especially retired people of all people would know better than anyone else, the great comfort of history. Any time I look at a graph of the stock market over the last 100 years that is telling us the story of history, and if there have been 18 bear markets, every single one of them went on to become an all-time new high after that. And so, it is that magical line that goes from the bottom-left to the upper-right of history. And this is not fake news, my friends, this is the real deal; that's what the stock market has done. And so, I think all of us can take great comfort, millennials or otherwise, in remembering that's how the system works, and I predict it'll continue to work that way.

Okay, lessons No. 5 and No. 6. No. 5, "Buying stocks at the moment feels intuitively like a big risk, but I'm doing it anyway." And Ben's bottom-line there, he says, "When you have decades of time on your side conquering the natural urge to cut-and-run in times like this is vital to your long-term financial success. Your future self will thank you."

And No. 6, "Keep notes of everything you're feeling right now, it'll help keep your feet on the ground during the next bull market, and whatever the market drops in the future, you can always look back and see how you got through it last time." Ben's bottom-line, keep the faith, he said.

I'll end on a final note from the great Dolly Parton quote, "If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." "Thanks for everything, David and team, Ben Adams."

Well, Ben, thank you for that note. Again, just a delight to share back-to-back with Michael's note from China, these contrasts greatly in terms of what you're saying and yet both of them present such well-worded thoughtful perspectives that how could I not share these kinds of stories.

And finally, story No. 3, which is Rule Breaker mailbag item No. 9 this week and this one comes from [Biritone Sussa.] And, Obi, thank you, love this note.

"Dear, David. As I write this note to you, the market just had the worst week since 2008. It wasn't my worst week since then, that happened for me in July of 2013 when I paid an overdraft fee for the first time in my life while I waited for the next paycheck that would save the day. Since then I've managed to improve my financial experience significantly and today, I can say that I am an investor on my way to financial independence."

"I found help and sound advice from many sources, but none had an impact so profound as you, your brother and The Motley Fool. I learned about the company in 2016 through a Facebook ad. I couldn't resist the temptation to click on the picture of those two guys wearing funny hats. I joined the Stock Advisor service on the month that Tom first recommended Shopify, and it was love at first stock. As I was listening to the episode, a couple of weeks ago, about your Thoughts On Our World In 10 ½ Chapters, I couldn't help but think how smarter, happier and richer I am after I've been listening to your advice. Some examples of how you helped do it are below."

He just gives four quick bullets. "Improving my budget and cash flow processes, learning how my 401(k) benefits work, choosing the right funds with the proper performance and costs. No. 3, maximizing my 401(k) contributions for two years in a row, 2018 and 2019 ... " Congratulations. " ... and hopefully forever. Finally, No. 4, learning about Roth 401(k) from Allison and Bro on Motley Fool Answers, using to start picking individual stocks in July of 2019 finally."

Obi continues, "Since then, I've religiously invested in the stock market and built a portfolio of 22 stocks, a Gardner-Kretzmann Continuum of just 0.52. Our goal ... " And I like how Obi begins to shift to "our" and "we," which always makes me happy. "Our goal is to have the GKC of 2." So, what he's saying there is, he's in his early 40s, about half of his age is his total number of stocks, but he'd like to have about twice his age in his number of stocks. So, there's the math. Of course, the Gardner-Kretzmann Continuum, one of the creations of this podcast.

"As of today ... " Obi continues, " ... our portfolio is down 17% against an S&P 500 average that's down 21%." He said, "I'm tracking my portfolio using the Google sheets file that your podcast shared some months ago. Despite our current loss, we didn't think once about selling any stock. We won't need the money that is invested in the market for at least the next 15 years, so I know I have the time to watch my investments bounce back and continue to grow, but I'm sticking to the plan and will not use my emergency fund to buy more stocks despite the market sellout. I know your team will continue to give us excellent stock advice, so I don't have a fear of missing out."

"Talking about fun. My wife and I ... " and that's the "we," and the reason I say I love it, when people write we, is that we love it here at The Fool when you are making your financial journey not just you, whoever you are, if you're, let's say, one of two spouses or partners, we think it's great to share it with both, keep everybody in the loop and do it together.

Now, not everybody is so motivated or even interested enough and not everybody would do it very well probably. So, sometimes it can make sense for it to be an "I" and not a "we," if you're part of a couple or a team, but I think the more you can put team into this, the better. And that's why I really wanted to close with this note this week, because I love how, as we'll shortly find out, this is a team thing.

So, Obi goes on, "Talking about fun, my wife and I have a little competition at home to spice things up. Gamification is another learning from you." Well, thank you, Obi, I'm happy to pass that one on. "We split the money in two and each one chooses the stocks to invest independently based on the most recent recommendations from Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers, I became a member in early 2019."

Obi goes on, "I was always the finance person in the house and this little game has helped me get my wife interested in the stock market and finance, in general. And what a fast learner, she's 13.6% above the S&P 500 thanks to Teladoc, which is up a 146% over the S&P 500," also crediting Apple and The Trade Desk. Obi goes on, "She's killing me and I'm happy for her!"

"I know these are tough times, there's a lot of uncertainty, and the future of so many people that will be affected. I feel a lot for them and hope for an efficient response from our authorities and our medical professionals and a fast recovery of our economy. Fortunately, I can continue to work from my home and no one from my family and friends has been affected so far." Well, God bless. "I thank you and The Fool family for all you've done for me and the support you're offering to us members and listeners. I wish you all the best and long live The Fool! Best regards, Obi."

Well, Obi, part of the reason I love to share notes like this is because I want my fellow employees to hear that. Yep, some of our employees, we have about 400 or so actually listen to my podcast, and I hope everybody at our company take some heart from a note like that, but more importantly, thanks for sharing your own story and helping us see ourselves in various aspects of it and how we can strive harder, aim higher and do better. I think it's so inspirational that you turned yourself from somebody who is getting an overdraft fee in July of 2013 and seven years later, even in the face of a bad market, somebody who's standing on much firmer financial legs.

I love your postscript; I'll just share that. You say, "I just finished reading A Gentleman in Moscow." Well, I'm pausing there and sharing that, because I particularly love that, because I did mention A Gentleman in Moscow a couple of years ago on the podcast. And indeed, we had Amor Towles, the author of A Gentleman in Moscow on Rule Breaker Investing a couple of years ago, in Authors in August which was a delight to have Amor join us. So, I'm so glad to think, Obi, that you went on to read the book and enjoyed it. In fact, you called it an excellent read for times of physical distancing like these. Thanks for the recommendation. You also say, "I edited this email with the help of Grammarly." Well, that's one of our longtime sponsors. And you close, "I'm originally from Brazil. English not even my first language, my writing has improved a lot after I started to use the app, so thanks again."

Well, I would say that was an idiomatically near-perfect note, so very well done, Obi. Congratulations to you and your wife.

And congratulations to all of us here at the end of this week's mailbag Rule Breaker Investing. You know, these are not easy times to live through from day-to-day. We're all in different places in the world and we've heard from somebody where things are getting safer, our friend Michael in China. And for many of us, we anticipate things getting worse over the coming months. So, all of us need a little bit of pick me up, not just normally anyway from day-to-day, but maybe especially in these times. So, I sure enjoyed having Andy and Aaron answer financial questions throughout much of this podcast, but I really loved being able to share back to you some of the stories that I'm hearing from our fellow Fools all in our different places, all doing our best for ourselves, our family and our friends.

So, in conclusion. Keep making smart decisions, wash your darn hands, probably paranoia is the better approach to take, if you're in the Western world, for the next couple of weeks if not months. Then after that, this too shall pass. I'm thinking of yet another author that I really love, we've had on Rule Breaker Investing before, Kevin Kelly, one of the Co-Founders of Wired, the author of the book The Inevitable. I saw a tweet from him yesterday, he said, "Reminder, if in a year from now, people complain that it wasn't so terrible, what was all the fuss?" Kevin writes, "Remember that that is a sign of hard work, success and victory."

Fool on!

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.