My Blue Chip

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It’s no secret that I’m not a believer in stockpicking.

The evidence is overwhelming. It’s convincing. And it’s definitive.

Being a passive investor and owning the whole market is where it’s at.

Stockpicking is for suckers and cheaters. And I aspire to be neither.

But it was not always this way. 17 years ago I became completely convinced that there was one blue-chip stock that could beat the rest.

It was an international stock.

It was a lean operation, but it had a lot of upside.

It was a value play. But it had a ton of growth potential.

It’s fundamentals were solid, but it was a stock that you could dream on.

So I did what any Red-blooded American boy would do. I went all in. I put all my eggs in one basket and took on some risk.

But it was far from uncompensated risk.

In the 17 years since I acquired this stock. The stock has split and split and split again.

It’s value is now 1000 times what it was when I first purchased it. Not 1000%. 1000 times.

It’s got more value than Microsoft, Apple, the S&P 500, and Amazon combined.

Because sometimes you just know. And sometimes your own innate intelligence surprises you.

I can tell you the name of the stock now, but I’ll never sell it.

The ticker is NOBU. And here’s a tip. It’s still undervalued. The market is not so efficient when it comes to pricing NOBU.

The full name of the company was Nobuyo Otani Corp. but it has since formed a limited partnership and changed its name to Nobuyo Zemsky LTD.

I am of course speaking about my wife.

Because it is Valentine’s Day and all of the clichés are true in this case.

The most important decision I ever made was asking her to marry me. She is the one investment that continues to pay off for me more than any other.

And I realize that it is crude to compare one’s wife to a common stock, but this is a personal finance blog so I’m somewhat constrained.

If it were a food blog she would be truffles and caviar.

If it were a wine blog, Château Petrus.

If it were a baseball blog she would be the San Francisco Giants (circa 2010, 2012, or 2014, the world championship years.)

You get the point.

But to avoid this from turning into even more of a mushy love letter, let me make a top 5 list about the value of marrying your perfect match. I truly believe that all other decisions pale in comparison to whom you decide to marry. (Mushy asides will be in italics.)

1. You’ll spend an immense amount of time with this person. It will literally be impossible for you to follow your “bliss,”if you do not truly love spending your time with your spouse.

One of my favorite things to do is to go on long walks with Nobu. We can and do talk about anything. And the feeling of walking through a city with someone you love by your side is a pretty nice metaphor for moving through your life with your partner.

2. You will probably have very difficult times in your life. Be the causes life events, psychological stresses, or financial pressures, you’re going to need to depend on someone, and someone that you trust.

Nobu has been the strongest for me at my lowest points. When I have felt ugly and defeated and small, she has pumped me up with her love and compassion, and in so doing, breathed life back into me.

3. If you decide to have kids, your spouse and you alone will have more influence on them than anybody.

Nobu is not only a great mother, but she also makes me a better father. Since I trust her so much, that when she points out I’m being unfair to one of my kids, I know she is right, and I can find the strength to apologize to them.

4. Marriage is efficient. Assuming the relationship is a good one, marriage allows for an equitable division of labor,and a pooling of resources. Materially, a good marriage needs only one residence, a well-stocked pantry, and some warm blankets.

I often joke that Nobu’s best quality is that she is allergic to metal. No fancy jewelry shopping for us!

5. Marriage is the ultimate get rich slowly scheme. All of the efficiencies of marriage build up over time. Like a well diversified low-cost index portfolio, being married and staying married makes you richer in the long run than you would otherwise be.

You may not believe this, but Nobu is way more frugal than I am.  She’s also more generous, but she is just incredibly stingy with herself. 

Of course the converse of number 5  is also true. Divorce is the ultimate get poor quickly scheme.

This last consideration is yet another reason why it’s so important to marry the right person.

And for all of the economic focus of this blog, I can honestly say that I would rather be a coalminer married to my wife, than a Doctor married to anyone else.

Happy Valentine’s Day Dividenders! Here’s to you finding your true love and nurturing it.

Screenshot 2014-02-14 23.14.25

Me and my bluechip on our wedding day…

 

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7 Responses to “My Blue Chip”

  1. Robert February 15, 2014 at 6:58 am #

    Awww….!

    Hope you got some hugs for that one! LOL

    So true. Single parenthood and broken households are a huge (negative) factor in the overall state of our nation’s economy today. Hard to accumulate capital when you are stretched to the limit without the economies you list that marriage provides. The old saying that “two can live as cheaply as one” is so true. If you truly are friends, there isn’t much need for expensive entertainment. As you say, just walking and talking together is perfect.

    • Tim February 15, 2014 at 8:42 am #

      My last name is Lemsky! Sure is close to yours!

      • Miles Dividend M.D. February 16, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

        Nice. One of my buddies from cardiology fellowship is also close to you. LENSKY!

    • Miles Dividend M.D. February 17, 2014 at 11:06 pm #

      Robert,

      A good marriage is the ultimate luxury. I thank my lucky stars every day.

      Alexi

  2. Kat J February 17, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

    You SHINE as a blogger, spousal unit, wealth creator, travel enthusiast and I’ll assume in so many other areas as well. (probably a pretty good doc!)
    Reading your blog is a highlight to my day. THANK YOU for your efforts, educational pointers, encouragement for a healthier, happier, freer life and your wonderful humanistic humorous writing style.

  3. Miles Dividend M.D. February 17, 2014 at 11:04 pm #

    Wow Kat,

    Thanks. You literally made my day.

    Sometimes I feel like a mad man writing down my thoughts every night. But I love it, so I keep on doing it.

    Knowing that someone else enjoys my writing is an unexpected (and extremely welcome) bonus.

    Have you started the blind wine tasting yet? (I’m on my second leg.)

    Alexi

    • Kat J February 18, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

      LOLOL… I’m actually aiming for a detox and I’ve avoided the wine cellar/seller and fridge for a while! But since I live very close to Margaret River, Western Australia I’ll have PLENTY to choose from when my ‘alcohol free month’ ends! :)

      (this W.A. has a serious!!! drinking culture, when I lived in the “other” WA drinking wine wasn’t such a sport as it was always gray and rainy. so I have a lot to try here.) ((when I lived in Europe — wine was a given and no one paid much attention to ‘what’ wine)

      ((and I DO wonder when you actually sleep — or is that something you gave up in med school —- hahahah))

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