The Good News

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

One of my favourite poems is by Monk, Teacher, and Author, Thich Nhat Hanh.

“They don’t publish the good news.

The good news is published by us.

We have a special edition every moment,

and we need you to read it.

The good news is that you are alive,

and the linden tree is still there,

standing firm in the harsh Winter.

The good news is that you have wonderful eyes

to touch the blue sky.

The good news is that your child is there before you,

and your arms are available: hugging is possible.

They only print what is wrong.

Look at each of our special editions.

We always offer the things that are not wrong.

We want you to benefit from them and help protect them.

The dandelion is there by the sidewalk,

smiling its wondrous smile,

singing the song of eternity.

Listen! You have ears that can hear it.

Bow your head.

Listen to it.

Leave behind the world of sorrow

and preoccupation

and get free.

The latest good news is that

you can do it.”

Thich Nhat Hanh’s poetry resonates deeply with the essence of mindfulness and the appreciation of the present moment. The message encourages us to recognize and celebrate the ‘good news’ in our everyday lives, urging us to focus on the positive despite the pervasive tendency of the world to highlight the negative.

When it comes to investing, this poem can be a powerful metaphor. In the financial world, much like in the media, there is a disproportionate emphasis on short-term fluctuations, market dips, and sensational events. Yet, the ‘good news’ in investing is often not in the daily ups and downs, but in the long-term growth, the resilience of markets, and the potential of investments to compound and provide for the future.

Investors can take a cue from this poem to look beyond the immediate ‘bad news’ and see the ‘special editions’ of opportunity that are always present. Much like the steadfast linden tree, markets have weathered many winters and have always emerged strong. The ‘wonderful eyes’ can be seen as the vision to recognize long-term potential, to ‘touch the blue sky’ of future possibilities.

Hanh speaks to the personal, reminding us that the ‘good news’ is also in our ability to act, to hug our children—here, it’s a call to the personal impact one can have through thoughtful investment. Just as one’s arms can embrace, investment choices can create positive impacts, supporting companies and initiatives that align with one’s values and drive progress.

The dandelion by the sidewalk represents the resilience and the often-overlooked beauty in the mundane. In the investing context, this can be a reminder of the ‘ordinary’ investments that reliably grow over time, their ‘wondrous smile’ being the steady returns they provide.

Listening, as the poem suggests, could be likened to conducting due diligence, staying informed, and being receptive to new information without becoming preoccupied with the noise of the market. It’s about finding freedom from the ‘world of sorrow and preoccupation’—the stress that can come from volatile market movements.

Lastly, the affirmation that ‘you can do it’ is a powerful closing thought for investors. It is a motivational call to action, assuring investors that despite the complexities of the financial world, they have the power to make informed decisions, to stay the course, and to ultimately succeed in their financial goals.