Last week I used stepping in dog shit as a metaphor for the current climate -- you can read that post here.
Today, I have a different metaphorical story. Just before Christmas, it snowed 6 to 8 inches in Seattle. That's a lot of snow for a city that can't handle 1 inch of snow. With the snow, the roads got shut down, and the kids went sledding on all the hills. My daughter was having a great time bombing down the hills until 5PM -- dusk was setting in, visibility becoming a challenge and she sledded right into a fire hydrant. She knocked herself out. Fortunately, we didn't have to go to Children's hospital and she was fine. Why in god's name did we not require her to wear a helmet?! In the excitement and newness of the snow, we just plain forgot -- and lost site of the risks. We're the kind of parents that always make her wear a helmet when she's biking and now she's sledding with less control than she does when she's on her bike? Oops. It only takes a second.
Which brings me to today -- It feels like investors got hit in the head and knocked out in Q4 of 2008 and now are only reminded of the risks of investing. Everyone is taking every protection possible and many are simply avoiding the activity all together. My suggestion is make sure you have your helmet on, it's a bit dangerous, but the sledding is still fun.