Walter L. Woodrick
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Mockingbird, minstrel or menace?

I love my home state, and I usually refer to it as “The Great State of Mississippi.” The mockingbird is the state bird, and it is beautiful – in color and in its musical mimicking of other birds and the sounds of insects and other creatures. Mockingbirds are also known to be extremely territorial when raising hatchlings.

I enjoy coming to my office. It’s on busy Highway 98 in Port St. Joe next to “The Pig” and across from Taco Bell. The locals know it as “the old pawn shop.” I love the work I do – helping people save, invest, protect, spend, give, and plan with regard to their financial well-being. 

Unfortunately, a mockingbird made her nest under my black-and-white striped awning over my front door. I now have to run the mockingbird gauntlet to get in and out of my office! Fluttering wings, face-to-face interactions with a hovering mockingbird, and an occasional touch on my arm or the top of my head accompanied by sharp chirps telling me to stay away are the protecting maneuverings of what I suppose to be the mom and dad of the baby birds in the nest. Google tells me that the baby birds will be leaving the nest a mere 12 days after hatching. The Lord’s creativity and efficiency amaze me on a daily basis. 

In the world of investing and free markets, I am regularly amazed at similar points related to my recent mockingbird interactions.

There are menaces in the world of investing – people who like to create fear, dread, dismay, and doom – with their own best interests in mind. The mockingbird is solely interested in protecting its nests. There are people solely interested in padding their wallets. Beware of such people! Test recommendations, not by asking your friends, but by asking qualified, experienced, licensed, and certified professionals.

There are also minstrels in the marketplace. People and organizations that can sing a pretty song, tell a good story and move investors to follow their song that may not be in the best interests of the investor. I am sure you know this, but please practice the following: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!” Minstrels know how to spin the songs that can cause people to make big mistakes that have expensive and long-lasting consequences. Tune your ears to the melodies of prudent investing strategies.

Finally, like mockingbirds looking to procreate and protect, the markets are creative and efficient. The markets are continually looking into the future. And, supported by the fact that we are at or near all-time highs in the markets, they have overcome every single recession, depression, terrorist attack, economic crisis, political season, tax change, and interest rate cycle. No one can guarantee where the markets will be tomorrow, or a year from now, or in 10 years. Creative and efficient markets based upon capitalism find ways to innovate, survive, and sustain.

Much like mockingbirds who make a nest under an awning of a financial planning practice on a busy highway, markets can have participants and actors that are menacing or minstrels as well as creative and efficient. Be proactive, seek good counsel, and watch your back!

Gulf County resident Walter Woodrick is a Certified Financial Planner practitioner, and the author of two books. His website is You can text Walter at 850.724.1369. Securities and advisory services are offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC. Opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. 579039-1

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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