TAO of the DOW

By Kevin Boyd - Mercury News Staff

The word Tao is pronounced the same as the word Dow. Coincidence? Twenty-six centuries ago, Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu espoused a philosophy that could be applied to everyday life. Borrowing liberally from his book, the Tao Te Ching, here are 10 lighthearted tidbits of real investment advice, with just enough insight to make you, too, a Taoist financial wizard.

WISDOM IS AN EMPTY BOWL

The Dow that can be told is not the eternal Dow. No mind can contain the entire market. By the time inside information reaches you, the Market has moved on. Wisdom comes not from facts, but from understanding.


WIN A FEW, LOSE A FEW

In the Market, there is no advance without correction, no decrease without increase. Profit comes when the trend is upward.


LOOK PAST YOUR NOSE

Not focusing on short-term profit decreases failure. There is wisdom and safety in long-term investment.


CH-CH-CH-CHANGES

The Dow is an empty vessel. Significance is not found in specific numbers but in change.


DON'T BET THE FARM

The Market is ruthless. It cares not for your capital gains or losses. As it moves, it also yields. Hold fast to the center. Do not invest what you cannot afford to lose.


YOUR BAD DAY IS SOMEONE'S GOOD DAY

The valley is the gateway to profit. Buy low, sell high. By increments we achieve our goals.


CAN'T WIN 'EM ALL

The Market lasts forever. Everyone makes mistakes. Errors are your tuition for the school of investment.


GO WITH THE FLOW

The Market flows like water. Churning causes financial turbulence. Contemplate with intuition as well as mind. Sensing its direction, move with the Market.


GREED BAD, PROFIT GOOD

Better to stop short than to risk all. Limit risks and losses to achieve success. Do not put all your eggs in one basket. Sell when goals are met. Greed destroys itself.


GET A LIFE

Understand and be open to all things. The Dow is but one sector of the Market. Success comes not from data, but from knowing the human heart.