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Why the World Will Not End: A Great Letter from John Mauldin

I love John Mauldin’s newsletters. I am not his typical fan, I’m sure, as I am not a venture capitalist and my investing doesn’t go much beyond an IRA. But I learned of him one day while reading Thrutch by Amit Ghate and have been enjoying Mr. Mauldin’s newsletters ever since.

This past week he had a great one entitled, “The World Will Not End” — an intriguing headline for a typcially bearish analyst. His letter made me really grateful to be alive right now, at this point in history, and very optimistic about what the next 20 years will bring.

Yes, there are economic events occurring that are not good. A mixed economy is never a pretty sight: The value of money slowly trickles away and it gets harder and harder for hardworking people to get rich. I know inflation is real, and I know a huge hunk of my paycheck goes to Uncle Sam.

Mauldin acknowledges these facts too. He writes:

It is easy to find bad news these days, and the torrent that seems to keep coming can ruin a person’s summer (or winter, for my southern hemisphere readers). The credit crisis, as noted last week, is nowhere near an end. Housing, as we will see, is actually getting worse. Foreclosures, auctions, government bailouts, higher taxes, inflation, the price of energy and food — the list goes on and on.

The list, of course, does go on. But I believe in the power of psychology and philosophy to shape human history just as our own personal psychologies and philosophies — (the good, the bad, and the ugly) — shape our own lives.

And I believe that any individual (and, therefore, any culture) has the ability to turn on a dime. In other words, you can be a train wreck and you can stop the train. You can then get off the train and move on to your next destination. You can decide where you want to go.

Of course, the pessimists will point out that sometimes there really are train wrecks. True. They happen, and they can be fatal for some people, perhaps through no fault of their own. Still, you pick up the pieces and go home. The pessimists point to an endless list of statistics that “prove” a train wreck is coming. (Think Al Gore.) They either want to scare you into action or inaction depending on their own philosophies.

Mauldin’s July 18th letter wisely reminds us to “take a deep breath” and “remember that things will work out.”

He writes:

Markets will adjust, and the world will be a better place. Things will work out better for you as an individual if you anticipate the problems and make the proper adjustments, as much as possible, in advance.

The next 20 years are going to be the most exciting time that the human race has experienced. Yes, there will be issues, but we will adjust. That is what we do.

And, he has this really inspiring line:

We are on the verge of a revolution in biotechnology that is going to truly revolutionize medicine. No one in 20 years will look back on today as the good old days.

I am very grateful that I live right now and in such a historically optimistic country. If we don’t get an optimist as Commander-in-Chief in November (and I’m not sure one is even running), we can still be optimists.

1 comment to Why the World Will Not End: A Great Letter from John Mauldin

  • Rich

    To paraphrase the late comedian Bill Hicks:

    “I’m waiting for a great nightly newscast. ‘Hey everybody — it’s all going to work out . Here’s Tom with the weather!”