I want to tell you a story about Sam.
He just turned 90 years old. Sam owns a restaurant. And I know this might shock you, but I like restaurants. And I particularly like Sam's. It's Italian. Nothing fancy — good food, good people. Sam calls me his Italian celebrity — the kid who made good, he likes to say.
Sam sees me stroll in the other night and immediately says, "Neil… nice job on the markets."
"Don't get smart," I say. "How's business been?"
"Good," he says. "People gotta eat."
"Yeah," I say. "But do you get as many people eating?"
He just rolls his eyes.
"Neil, this ain't the 21 Club," he says. "I'm not gonna break their bank. They still keep coming."
Then Sam starts to regale me on the state of his customers. A lot of them talk about stocks and how they're getting hit, he explains. Most of them say they're hurting, but they're all buying his pizza, sampling his daily pasta specials.
Then old Sam says something that just floors me.
"You know, Neil, they're still coming in with their families. That's good. I like that."
The kids yelling and screaming, the mom's trying to shut them up. But they're all together. They're all laughing.
"I know it's a small thing," Sam says. "But it's a good thing. They're with me, they're happy."
And then this man who has lived through the Depression and at least six bear markets by my count — an Italian immigrant, who made his money selling calzones out of a small garage 40 years ago, says, "the world changes, but good food is good food."
Nothing deep here. Just some food for thought from a man who knows how to take stock of his life, by not focusing on the stocks in his life.
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