Sheriff Taylor provided good advice for investors too

By DAVID MOON, Moon Capital Management, LLC
July 8, 2012

If there is anyone who didn’t like Andy Griffith, I haven’t heard from them since the passing of America’s sheriff. Each of the 249 episodes was a morality play, set against a backdrop of fried chicken, family, friends and, occasionally, good bluegrass music. Over the years, I have often found the lessons of the show weren’t just useful in relationships, but were surprisingly applicable to investment and other financial matters.

Sometimes doing nothing is hard, and it can be more beneficial than activity for the sake of activity.

Parents need to eventually let young'uns leave the nest, else they will never be able to fly and fend for themselves.

A person is never too young to understand the value of willingly helping another human being. And it is much easier to personally identify with helping a classmate who needs a coat than it is the institutional charity drive at school.

Some very competent “number twos” simply aren't qualified to be CEO.

Jealousy is a destructive force, whether you're worried about someone’s relationship with Miss Ellie or the size of his net worth.

Once a herd becomes convinced of something, reality is irrelevant to them. Sometimes the shoe salesman isn’t a talent scout; he’s just a shoe salesman.

Be careful when considering cosigning a business loan for someone, especially if he's a Goober.

People have been making money in drug stores and gas stations for a long time.

If local politics can pit Howard Sprague and Aunt Bea against each other, it can ruin your friendships, as well.

Just because someone wears a fancy suit and has a visibly successful music career doesn't mean that he might not be drowning in debt.

Big business isn’t necessarily inferior to the alternative. Sometimes the store-bought pickles are better than the homemade ones.

There will always be hucksters trying to separate you from your money. Sometimes they sell Miracle Salve. Sometimes it’s an investment.

Gold has always inspired irrational responses from people, whether it’s Glenn Beck hawking it on the radio or Barney and Gomer riding shotgun in a decoy shipment from the Denver Mint.

Sometimes it is a huge mistake to spend a bunch of money to try and save a few pennies, especially if you don’t have a backup freezer for the side of beef you just bought.

Neither a British accent nor a beard guarantee that a person is either intelligent or sophisticated. Those traits are easily found in a bumbling Brit on a bicycle or a country Goober.

Barney was a sometimes-inept deputy, but he was a worse real estate salesman. Beware hiring part-time or inexperienced professional service providers.

Sometimes, however, the young, new doctor is most qualified to remove your son’s tonsils.

Just because something is legal (keeping a lost $50 purse after the claim period has expired) doesn’t make it right. And just because something is illegal (Andy’s malfeasance in allowing jaywalking and his not carrying a gun) doesn’t make it wrong.

Carnival games, like lotteries, are virtually impossible to win.

David Moon is president of Moon Capital Management, a Knoxville-based investment management firm. This article originally appeared in the News Sentinel (Knoxville, TN).

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