I'm going to make you an offer you can't refuse.
Has your portfolio been battered over the past few months? Perfect. I'll take it off your hands and replace it with an equal amount of bank CDs and money market funds. After commissions, of course.
Tempting, isn't it? Predictable returns. Reasonable yields in this current interest rate environment. No more uneasy feelings in your gut after yet another bad market day. Up for it?
You would be silly if you took me up on that offer.
Keep your stocks close and their fundamentals closer
My 12-year-old son, who like Michael Corleone is brilliant and wants nothing to do with the family business at this point, is in a pretty good place right now. You know that Cheesecake Factory chain? He owns it. OK, technically he is one of tens of thousands of investors who own a wee stake in Cheesecake Factory
Do you think he would give that up for a certificate of deposit? Cheesecake Factory shares have been hammered lately, but I think the bragging rights are often more valuable than the stock certificates that they are printed on.
Aren't we all a little like that? Take a stroll through the unfiltered stock discussion boards at Yahoo! Finance, and you will see folks who are passionate about their investments. They may not always know how to contract words or respect their fellow posters like we do at Fool.com, but you've got to admire the spunk and perseverance. You just need to take a shower on the way out. Can you imagine someone posting under a dozen different aliases to pump up a Vanguard prime money market fund or the "wicked cool" six-month CD at Wachovia? No way, chum. Stocks are vanity plates. Choose the right ones, and they are vanity plates that make you rich.
There is a joy to owning stocks. There is much to be said about the power to jump from one billion-dollar conglomerate to a rival with a pair of mouse clicks. If you don't feel that kind of pride in the stocks you own, then you've got a heart that needs dusting -- or you're just buying the wrong stocks.
The right way to buy the right stocks
Leave the Cheesecake Factory and take the cannoli? My son wouldn't dream of it. I wouldn't dream of my son not dreaming it. This doesn't mean that I'm suggesting you weather the market's sometimes cruel gyrations because stocks can be fun to own. I don't need to when I'm backed by just about every long-term investing gauge that shows that stocks outperform other investing vehicles over the long haul. I'm just arguing that if you are going to invest, you might as well make it fun.
There is a method to my madness. At the very least, there is a madness to my method. By making your portfolio rich in stock names that you want to talk about at the next cocktail party, you are also forcing yourself to keep abreast of the corporate fundamentals.
Subscribers to the Motley Fool Rule Breakers newsletter service are perpetually armed with the kind of stocks that make portfolios anything but boring. If you don't think that there are some good stories to tell by owning a piece of companies that make robotic surgeons or next-generation home mopping solutions, ask a subscriber about Intuitive Surgical
Granted, Intuitive Surgical has gone on to more than double, and iRobot shares have been slashed in half, but the rewards and risks of aggressive growth stock investing are right there in a tech-friendly nutshell. Owning both of those names in concert would still have produced a superior return to that bank paper I was teasing you with earlier on.
It's all about mo' green, Moe Green
Wouldn't you rather go to the mat with stocks than putting your cash under a mattress? My original offer still stands, of course. You don't need me at all to make that happen. Just liquidate your stocks, deal with any taxable implications, and join the slow yet predictable angling for the free toaster at the Bailey Savings and Loan. Is that really such a wonderful life?
While a CD may have meant that these past few months wouldn't have stung so badly, you would also be giving up what should eventually be a market recovery. The market has a funny way of bouncing back, adding new depth to your cocktail-party stories.
I love stocks that are fun to own. My portfolio is public, and you will find names like amusement-park operators Disney
That's what Rule Breaker investing is all about. That's what this 30-day all access pass that I'm waving at you is all about, granting you free access to the many features of the interactive research service through August. You're an investor. You're a fun investor. You may not feel like smiling much these days, but having a portfolio that you are proud of will make the good times that much better.
When will we find ourselves running with the bulls again? We'll get there, Fool. We'll get there.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has probably seen the Godfather films too many times for his own good. He even doesn't mind the third one. He does own shares in Disney (a Stock Advisor selection) and Cedar Fair (an Income Investor pick). TheFool has a disclosure policy. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.