When I first became a full-time contributor to The Motley Fool, I used to get up every morning and flip on CNBC before I did anything else. From "Squawk Box" with Erin Burnett and Mark Haines, to "Power Lunch" with my boy Bill Griffeth, and on to "Closing Bell" with that dynamic duo Maria "Money Honey" Bartiromo and Dylan Ratigan, the TV was on all day, and it was all good. I even found some charm in Jim Cramer's "Stop Trading" segment midway through the day.
I think the appeal goes back to when I was in investment banking and I'd wander down to the trading floor. There was always so much action -- everyone was shouting, running around, yelling into a phone. It was all pretty darn exciting. And the TVs were always going.
Back to the present day: It took me about a month and a half of this to realize that I had persistent and scorching heartburn all day long. At first I thought it was because I eat like food is going out of style and I drink too much coffee. But after isolating a few variables, I realized that the problem was that darn TV. It was like having an adrenaline IV drip in my temple all day long.
Needless to say, I cut it out, and my digestive system thanked me.
So. Chinese markets dropped 9%, followed by a massive decline on the U.S. market, followed by more declines on the Asian markets, and this could potentially be followed by more declines on the U.S. markets again today. And I met this chain of events with -- a yawn? OK, not exactly a yawn -- my personal portfolio took a hit, too -- but I couldn't help but think that the sky was not, in fact, falling.
Sure, if you're an actual trader, or if your portfolio is stuffed to the brim with stocks like Baidu
Business cycles are part of the game when it comes to investing. I'll bet my entire retirement savings that we will absolutely have another recession. And that recession will be followed by a period of growth. And that growth will be followed by a recession, and on, and on, and on.
If you want some help finding strong stocks to fortify your portfolio, you've come to the right place. You can check out David and Tom Gardner's Stock Advisor newsletter for picks across the market, or Philip Durell at Inside Value for some picks with serious backbone.
Now step back, take a deep breath, take off the trader hat, and go watch something good on TV.
Bring your thoughts, feelings, comments, and reactions here.
Oh, the horror!
When it comes to short-term trading, Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer is less Jesse Livermore and more Uncle Jesse. He does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. Baidu is a Rule Breakers pick. The Fool's disclosure policy never relaxes so that you can.