My ‘Best in Show’ for 2022

Jim Woods

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

Every year at about this time, you see all sorts of articles about the “top stories” during the previous 12 months. It makes sense, as the end of December is a good time to assess the biggest news events that molded and defined the year. But today, rather than doing a top stories article, I am going to make it personal by giving you what I call my “Best in Show” for 2022.

The term Best in Show is a reference to the structure of dog shows, where the top dogs from each group (herding, toy, non-sporting, etc.) face off to capture the big award of the night, Best in Show. Now, in the dog show world, Best in Show isn’t really about which dog is better than another dog. Rather, the top award goes to which dog best represents what’s known as the “breed standard.”

In The Deep Woods, my standard (i.e. the goal of this column) is, as our tagline states, to present, “An uncommon take on money, ideas and society.” And with evaluative metric in mind, today I have selected my top five columns of 2022, columns that I think display my personal Best in Show, and that live up to the goal of my writing.

So, for your enjoyment, stimulation, food for thought and contemplation, I present to you my Best in Show for 2022 (as ranked from fifth to first), along with a couple of honorable mentions.

Honorable Mentions:

Although these stories didn’t crack my top five Best in Show, they are definitely worth mentioning. The first is the Sept. 14 issue “Reject This Game of Thrones,” which is my response to the death and subsequent social spectacle of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.

There, I wrote:

“… as a man who abhors the notion of monarchy and its roots in such despicable ideas as the ‘divine right of kings,’ I find the pageantry rather loathsome. In fact, I am someone who has a visceral sense of nuisance whenever I see a picture of the royals, and the reason why is because I’m opposed to concepts such as one human having political province over others simply by accident of birth.”

I think it’s quite clear here where I am coming from.

The second honorable mention is my June 15 issue, “Kevin O’Leary Enters My Shark Tank.” This issue offered highlights from my podcast interview with “Mr. Wonderful.” The “Shark Tank” star told me all about his newest venture, cryptocurrency exchange platform WonderFi, a firm O’Leary says provides a compliant and transparent place for institutional and individual investors to trade cryptocurrencies.

Interestingly, O’Leary was in the news about his involvement in the cryptocurrency space soon after this interview, as he had ties to the now-collapsed FTX and its now-disgraced CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. O’Leary even testified in front of Congress about the issue, but before he did that, he was talking all things crypto with me on the Way of the Renaissance Man podcast.

5) The Curve of the Earth (Dec. 21)

Sublime moments in life may seem infrequent and evanescent, and many of the moments we categorize as “peak experiences” are, by their very nature, uncommon. Yet it is my opinion that these sublime experiences don’t have to be as infrequent and uncommon as most people perceive them to be. You see, the world of daily peak experiences, wonderment, and awe of the sort that many of us experience only on rare occasions is open to us, if we know how to pay attention to each moment.

4) What a Wonderful World (Nov. 23)

I was recently at a gathering of musician friends, and one of them asked me what my favorite song was. After a brief pause, I replied with a title that surprised my fellow artists. “What A Wonderful World,” by Louis Armstrong was my answer. After digesting the surprised looks in the room, I went on to tell everyone why this was my favorite song, and why the lyrics reflect the philosophical premise known as “benevolent universe.”

3)  Goodnight, Songbird (Dec. 7)

The death of keyboardist/vocalist/songwriter Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac hit me particularly hard. As I processed the news of her death, I felt the bittersweet taste that news like this leaves on one’s mental palate. The bitterness is that all of us will cease to be, and everyone that matters to us will one day be gone. Yet there also is sweetness in the memories of those past, and what they did while they were here, cannot be taken from us. McVie’s death serves as a reminder to us that what matters most in this world is to do something beautiful with our limited time.

2) ‘He Shot My Arm Off’ (Aug. 3)

“Don’t mess with Norco.” That was a headline of a story in the local Southern California press, as it described one reaction to video of liquor store owner Craig Cope shooting an armed robber with a shotgun. Oh, and if you are wondering why I chose this topic, it’s because this incident took place in my hometown of Norco, California. Sadly, the 80-year-old Cope died on Tuesday, December 27 (hat tip to subscriber Lee G. for telling me before anyone else). Yet what this incident demonstrates is the simple, yet undeniable fact that the best way to prevent someone from violating your rights by force is to employ a greater amount of force against them in your own defense. Too bad most lawmakers don’t realize this simple fact.

1) Welcome to the Hotel California (Nov. 2).

Some nights in a life are epic. This past Halloween eve, I experienced one of those epic nights when I attended a costume party at a friend and colleague’s home in Bel Air, California. In addition to this being the most magnificent home I’ve ever set foot in, the hospitality was equally magnificent. Yet what really made this night epic was the performance from iconic musician, member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and lead guitarist for the Eagles, Don Felder.

Your editor in his “capitalist hippie” costume, alongside the famed Don Felder.

Watching Felder up close and personal (literally a few feet away) was nothing short of spectacular, and it’s one of those life moments that I will be talking about and celebrating with an ultimate sense of joy and wonderment for the rest of my days.

You see, to me, life is about celebration.

Celebration that you are here and that you are a thinking entity capable of knowing how lucky you are as a sentient member of the universe. Just that realization alone is enough to be grateful, but then knowing you also can have the sublime feelings that come with peak experiences should make your sense of gratitude for existence overflow with a sense of awe and adventure.

Of course, life also is difficult. There’s pain, suffering and ultimately, you will no longer be attending the party. Worse yet, you will have to leave the party while the party is still going on.

Yet just because we know life is finite doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate. Indeed, it’s precisely because life is finite that we must cultivate the peak experiences and moments that make our days on earth worth the struggle.

As Felder’s signature hit “Hotel California” reminds us, “you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.” I take that lyric to mean that, although we can choose to “check out” and live a life unexamined, we are still here and we exist right now, and we can “never leave” the responsibility of thinking and acting. And because we have that life, and that choice, why not choose to live it inspired, with a sense of purpose and with a goal of basking in peak experience?

I know which way I want my life to go, and if you’re reading this, I suspect you do, too.

Happy new year, and may we all live each moment of 2023 in the name of the very best within us!

*****************************************************************

Make Mistakes in 2023

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”

–Neil Gaiman

Novelist Neil Gaiman is best known for works such as “American Gods” (which I highly recommend, especially if you are into fantasy literature). Yet here, he gives us great, real-world advice, encouraging us to make many mistakes. You see, if you aren’t making mistakes, that means you aren’t trying to change — and in life, maintenance is almost always regression. Keep that in mind as we embark on the new year.

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.

In the name of the best within us,

Jim Woods

share on:

Like This Article?
Now Get Jim's FREE Special Report:
The Top 11 Dividend ETFs to
Buy Right Now

Get up to 5X the yields of traditional income plays.

Get Access to the Report, 100% FREE


img
share on:

PREMIUM SERVICES FOR INVESTORS

Dr. Mark Skousen

Named one of the "Top 20 Living Economists," Dr. Skousen is a professional economist, investment expert, university professor, and author of more than 25 books.

Product Details

  • Forecasts & Strategies
  • Home Run Trader
  • Fast Money Alert
  • Five Star Trader
  • TNT Trader
LEARN MORE HERE

Bryan Perry

A former Wall Street financial advisor with three decades' experience, Bryan Perry focuses his efforts on high-yield income investing and quick-hitting options plays.

Product Details

  • Cash Machine
  • Premium Income PRO (exclusively for subscribers of Cash Machine)
  • Quick Income Trader
  • Breakout Options Alert
  • Hi-Tech Trader
LEARN MORE HERE

Jim Woods

Jim Woods has over 20 years of experience in the markets from working as a stockbroker,
financial journalist, and money manager. As well as a book author and regular contributor to
numerous investment websites, Jim is the editor of:

Product Details

  • Successful Investing
  • High Velocity Options
  • Intelligence Report
  • Bullseye Stock Trader
  • Eagle Eye Opener
LEARN MORE HERE

Bob Carlson

Bob Carlson provides independent, objective research covering all the financial issues of retirement and retirement planning. In addition, Bob serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Fairfax County (VA) Employees’ Retirement System, which has over $2.8 billion in assets.

Product Details

  • Retirement Watch
  • Retirement Watch Spotlight Series
  • Lifetime Retirement Protection Program
LEARN MORE HERE

Jon Johnson

Jon Johnson's philosophy in investing and trading is to take what the market gives you regardless if that is to the upside or downside. For the past 21 years, Jon has helped thousands of clients gain success in the financial markets through his newsletters and education services:

Product Details

  • Investment House Daily
  • Stock of the Week
  • Technical Traders Alert
  • Rapid Profits Stock Trader
LEARN MORE HERE

DividendInvestor.com

Used by financial advisors and individual investors all over the world, DividendInvestor.com is the premier provider and one-stop shop for dividend information and research.

Product Details

Popular tools include our proprietary Dividend Calendar, Dividend Calculator, Dividend Score Card, and many more.

  • Dividend Investor
LEARN MORE HERE