Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

How the Hurricane Season is a lot like the Stock Market

We have busy seasons, we have slow seasons. We go years without a specific area being hit, much the way some stocks climb steadily without any problems and then suddenly that particular beach in paradise gets hit by a storm and it takes a few years for it to come back.

What goes up, must come down and in the tropics that same logic applies. Every beach has it's day when the rain falls and the wind blows and the tide rises.... and then for months, sometimes years storms only hit places far away.

Life is a gamble, you take your best shot, you buy insurance, you keep the storm shutters handy and you wake up every day and enjoy living in paradise.

People ask me "don't you worry about hurricanes" all the time when they hear I am a Miami girl. No we do not worry as much as we keep it in the back of our mind on sunny days when we walk the beach at dawn, Rollerblade on Lincoln Road or dance in a small club somewhere just off the ocean with a full moon rising. We live in places like Key Largo because it's beautiful all year round, 365 days a year most years and every sunrise and sunset is a moment of inspiration that makes life worth living. Why anyone would live up north and deal walking through the sleet and snow and ice to get a few months of summer to me makes no sense. Yes, I have lived up north and I go back and forth often but I prefer the Fountain of Youth that Florida is and always will be.

There is nothing like sitting by the edge of the water and watching the sunset, barefoot and barely dressed feeling a steady breeze off Biscayne Bay. Yes, it does get hot in August...that is when we use the Air Conditioning. But, come November you open up the windows and there is a breeze that tugs at the curtains and they take flight like sails on a ship and you are new again, alive and happy to be living in Florida.

Is a bit of Insurance or precaution too much to pay for living in a place where you can live life worrying about if you have a new winter coat or if your snow tires will last another season or if you pipes will freeze this coming winter? Would you rather stock pile snack food in case of a hurricane that may never come or ice for snow and ice that will last for several months?

I don't know...this seems like a no brainer to me.

Yes, many of us LOVE the seasons. Thanks to JetBlue and Southwest airlines you can book a flight every season for a long weekend up north to "enjoy" the winter and then fly back to your tropical paradise where you can throw off your coat, kick off your boots and get back into your tank top, flip flops and shorts and take a walk on the beach at sunset. Spring is pretty but we have flowers 365 days a year..

Yes.... sometimes the stocks take a plunge and everyone gets nervous. Much like when a Category 3 storm starts moving towards South Florida, people panic and rush out to buy more granola bars and Twinkies than they can ever imagine eating. The first thing that goes when there is a storm is the worrying on eating healthy... Many people rush to sell the moment the stocks dip below 300, long time investors will hold on and breathe deep and hope that the storm will pass and they will rally the next day. They are in it for the LONG HAUL not quick money and just because the stocks went south one day does not mean they will get out of the stock market totally. The same with a hurricane that cruises past our city and we all breathe a sigh of relief and go on a cleansing fast to get rid of the 3,000 calories they have consumed when the storm missed but we still ate the Twinkies. And, sometimes.... the storm hits and all hell breaks loose and it's like Black October, the storm surge rides in with debris and roofs need repairing and we spend a year or so cleaning up and trying to get back to normal. We don't pull up stakes and go back to wherever we came from... we play it forward and wait it out. And, then... we go 20 years without getting affected by a hurricane again.

Miami went from 1965 after Hurricane Betsy to 1992 when Hurricane Andrew hit without being affected directly by a Hurricane. The economic growth of the region in the 70s and 80s was unsurpassed by almost anywhere. When was the last time the stock market did not fall for over 25 years? Just think, you have better odds of missing a Major Hurricane in Miami than you do of losing money in the stock market.

So... when you have a chance to live in paradise... grab for the brass ring or the closest palm frond. Enjoy life... and if you want to know what South Florida is really like, take a trip down the Overseas Highway to paradise. Pick a spot, any spot though of late my favorite spot is Key Largo.

You can snorkel, you can swim, you can take a boat out, go fishing, sit by the water or under a palm tree and watch the sun go down. You can drive down to Key West and look at conch houses and sip margaritas or you can sip them from a local bar anywhere along the highway.

Going to post more pictures later of this beautiful place, but since it's quiet in the tropics I thought now would be a good time to post some pics from Rock Reef Resort in Key Largo where I spent a few days writing last month and explain on what it is really like to live in paradise. I've got to tell you, some incredibly nice people own and run Rock Reef Resort making it that much nicer. I can't wait to go back and spend some time with them and talk a bit about storm stories and life. For years I have driven past those smaller resorts on the Bayside of Key Largo and wondered what it would be like to stay there on my way to Key West. On this last trip I stopped and stayed and wondered what took me so long. Why do we so often put off taking a chance and investing a few hours of our life doing nothing we have to do but something we NEED to do and just sit and watch the sun go down by the water? Why do we always talk ourselves out of things when we should talk ourselves into things?

How many times did you pass up money on a investment, a stock, a real estate deal or even just a nice vacation opportunity? I would bet pretty often and I only bet on sure things. We all do it, why I don't know but we do. We are afraid to invest either money or time on something that might not work out the way we hoped. You can't win without playing the game can you?

So, next time you see a good deal on a vacation home or retirement home in South Florida and you try talking yourself out of it because you worry on hurricanes... think again and go for it, enjoy life while the living is easy and worry less on that tropical storm that may never darken your sunny days. Either way the math still is in your favor... one possible storm day every 20 years or so vs snow and ice every winter, seems like a no brainer to me.

Driving to work in Miami

vs in a Blizzard

Sweet Tropical Dreams Bobbi


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