Wet Bait

When Jim and Sue turned ten, Gil Standard (of Normal, IL) took them up to Evergreen Lake.  Virgil Holt had agreed to teach the kids how to fish.  Gil threw some lunches together and drove everyone up to Virgil’s farm.  The oldtimer said, “We’ll take my boat up Mallard Slough and catch us a mess of Bluegill.  Kids like catchin’ bluegill.  They’s easy, plentiful, and the bigger one’s have a little fight in ’em.”

At the lake, the four piled into Virgil’s boat.  After a few pulls on its cord, his old Johnson coughed to a start.  They anchored about twenty feet from shore in a narrow finger of the lake.  Virgil showed the kids how to put a little piece of worm on their hook, attach some weight and a bobber, and toss their lines out.  Sue did fine but Jimmy was impatient.  He kept bringing his line back in to check the bait.  Finally Virgil scolded him, “Son, you cain’t catch fish if you don’t get yer bait wet.  Keep it in the water and the fish’ll find it sooner or later.”

Gil wasn’t trying to fish, enjoying instead just watching his children experiencing a new adventure, but what Virgil said made him think about his investment portfolio. The stock market had been declining for a couple of months.  Gil had cut back on many of his equity investments.  Now he was contemplating getting out completely.  Hearing Virgil’s council he realized there was no way of knowing when the market would bottom out.  “Like it or not,” he thought, “I have to keep some investments in the market or ultimately I will probably miss the strongest part of any recovery.”  It’s not always pleasant, but we generally hold to that same opinion here at Atlas.