“If a man is a quitter, I’d rather find out in practice than in a game. I ask for all a player has so I’ll know later what I can expect.”
— Legendary Alabama Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant
Coach Bryant would push players to the very edge of their physical tolerance and dare them to quit. Many did, but those that remained were battle-tested warriors for which failure was not an option. Adversity will either bring out the good or bad in us.
Players in my portfolio often face difficult times, much of it is often brought on by themselves. Wachovia Corp. (WB), the nation’s fourth-largest bank, is the latest example of a financial institution facing adversity. WB on April 14th reported:
- A $393 million first-quarter loss
- That it is looking for a $7 billion cash infusion
- Plans to cut 500 jobs
- A provision for credit losses of $2.8 billion
- Stock offerings for an aggregate of $7 billion
- A 41% cut in its quarterly dividend to $0.375
I held shares of WB in my Roth IRA. I consider it an income investment and, as such, it was subject to the same income rules as my taxable account – if you cut your dividend you are off the team and escorted out of my portfolio.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. When the last financial shoe drops, those left standing will be battle-tested warriors ready to face adversity without blinking. My portfolio just got stronger.