Get Yourself A Chow Chow 

Jim Woods

Jim Woods has over 20 years of experience in the markets from working as a stockbroker, financial journalist, and money manager.

We all know the cliché that a dog is “man’s best friend.”

Well, let me tell you something, man needs best friends. In fact, as social animals, building a network of close friends and trusted associates is imperative to a life well-lived. Of course, finding those you can trust and that “have your back” isn’t always the easiest of propositions.

Yet when it comes to canines, generally speaking, if you treat a dog well, he/she will treat you even better. Like humans, dogs are social “pack” animals, and they are hardwired by nature to help protect their pack. That means they are hardwired by nature to be your friend and ally, and to have your back.

I saw this trait play out firsthand this past week, as my canine, a chow chow named “Hemingway,” put the smack down on a most unwanted intruder. 

You see, I live on a small horse ranch in Southern California. In addition to horses, there is a barn, and around the barn, there are many feral cats and kittens. Yes, I feed them all, and so I am not surprised they keep coming around. But I like cats, so I choose to make sure they have plenty of food. Yet while I choose to feed and welcome the cats, I definitely do not welcome the coyotes that come around to try and make a meal of the felines. 

A few days ago, Hemingway was barking rather aggressively, wanting me to let him outside. It was about 3 a.m., which is an unusual time for him to want to go outside. Still, I obliged his request, and as soon as I opened the back door, Hemingway sprinted outside and ran full speed toward the barn.

I had a flashlight handy, and as I shined the beam in the direction he ran off, I saw that Hemingway had cornered a full-grown coyote. Both sets of fangs were out, and I was about to witness some canine combat.

The next moment Hemingway bolted toward the coyote and knocked him against the side of the barn with a body blow reminiscent of a tackle from the great Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. After bouncing hard off the side of the barn, the coyote sprinted away from my property and into the cover of the early morning darkness. 

I have seen no signs of its return since. 

Your editor with “Hemingway” the chow chow. 

This incident reminded me of the importance of putting people, or in this case a chow chow, on your “team” that can help you get through difficult, even combative situations. And while my chow was just being a chow, i.e., an aggressive and strong breed known for its powerful build and protective nature, he nevertheless lived up to his nature by kicking that coyote’s butt.

Because you see, in life, sometimes we need to kick a coyote’s butt. 

Sometimes we have problems that require tough, no-B.S. action that must be taken to achieve a result. Many times, these are business problems, and at other times legal problems. Sometimes those problems are medical, or relationship-oriented, or family-oriented. And sometimes those problems are about investing. 

That’s why it’s imperative that you build your own personal network of tough chow chows who have your back when the coyotes come calling.

So, make sure you have good friends, real friends, that can help pull you through the tough times. And in turn, be a good friend to them when they require some assistance. Because guess what: we all require some assistance at some point in our lives.

You also should make sure you have a cadre of professionals on your team who you trust to get you through the tough times. 

For example, have a great lawyer on your team. I can tell you that I have never regretted spending money on a good lawyer, and you won’t either. Also have a good certified public accountant (CPA) or tax person on your team. Pay extra for them, because I guarantee you it will save you money in the long run.

Next, cultivate a personal relationship with your physician. A physician who knows you personally is likely to give you a little extra attention, attention that is required as we get older and as our medical needs accelerate.

And, of course, if you are having trouble with your finances, and especially if you are having issues getting the results you want from your investments, well, that’s what my newsletter advisory services are all about.

Finally, if you are in need of a protective dog that will fight off intruders, but that also will sleep lovingly at your side each night while also looking like a real-life Teddy bear, then do yourself a favor and get yourself a chow chow. It might be the best investment you’ll ever make.


Song for a Neighbor 

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I don’t want a know it all for a teacher

I don’t need an anthem for a song

I don’t want a saint for a preacher

I don’t want a landfill for a lawn

I don’t want a loudmouth for a president

I don’t cheer for the red or blue team

All I want is a neighbor I can learn something from

Be good to them and they be good to me

–Seth Avett, “Song For A Neighbor” 

He’s one of the two “Avetts” in the iconic Americana band “The Avett Brothers,” and in this song, Seth Avett expresses some folksy wisdom that I think resonates with a lot of people. I know it resonated with me. So, know what you don’t want, and be good to your neighbor. It is one of the many secrets to a happy life. 

Wisdom about money, investing and life can be found anywhere. If you have a good quote that you’d like me to share with your fellow readers, send it to me, along with any comments, questions and suggestions you have about my newsletters, seminars or anything else. Click here to ask Jim.


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