SPRING 2012 ISSUE


End Times is a Waste of Time



Admit it. This Mayan Calendar thing has buried itself somewhere deep inside your subconscious.




December 21st, 2012…apparently that’s the day we’re all punching out our timecards for good. I realize ever since the turn of the millennium we’ve been through several previous dress rehearsals regarding the end of the world. However, this one feels different. Maybe it’s because this prediction isn’t coming from some straitjacket wearing televangelist whose doomsday prophecies all seem to end the same way. The alarm clock still goes off the next morning, the bills still have to be paid and I’m still late for work. What’s our primary consolation for being forced to endure this now nearly annual Armageddon ritual? Knowing that we’ve safely identified yet another individual who was divinely insane as opposed to inspired.


That said I’m not sure what to do about the Mayans. I’ve done my research. Without question, they were the rock star civilization of their day, which invariably renders their prognostication as something more than some post-peyote induced manifestation. I’ll confess, this unavoidable conclusion and my inability to debunk the Mayan Calendar initially had me upping my medication. There were other signs of mild paranoia, including allegations that I might have formed an exploratory committee at work tasked with researching the viability of manufacturing rapture-resistant outerwear for men, women and children. Nothing was proven and my hard drive has since been erased. It can’t be done.


However, I’m happy to report I’ve since transitioned to a much happier place. What did it for me? Three things primarily.


One, I’ve learned the Mayans hit a fairly large speed bump in A.D. 900. Apparently, they forgot to put their empire essentially collapsing on the calendar. Some might call this more than just a minor oversight.


Two, I’ve always felt quite comfortable subscribing to the “no one knows when that day or hour will come” position concerning the end times. It might not sell as many books or generate as much buzz in the blogosphere; however, I’m guessing the author wasn’t in it for critical acclaim or to make the New York Times Best Sellers list.


And three, and mostly simply put, I finally realized it was a waste of my time.


Because I’m a trader by occupation, I tend to break down nearly everything in my life relative to its inherent value. After 11-years of staring at a computer screen, hyper-analyzing every price tick, searching relentlessly for commodities that are either over or under-priced, there is only one that remains entirely elusive and completely untouchable. It can’t be bought or sold. It can’t be hedged, leveraged, placed in portfolio or saved for retirement. What is it? Time. Your time is the most precious commodity on the planet. Spending it fixated on the hourglass seems like a pretty bad trade in my opinion.


What will I be doing on the morning of December 22nd, 2012? Best case, I’ll be tip-toeing out the door at 7:00 a.m., coffee in hand, headed to meet my daily commuter in crime Brett Gjovik. Worst case, I wake up debt free, likely feeling the best I’ve felt in years, and surrounded by family and friends.


Where I come from that’s referred to as a trade without any downside. Considering this, I see no reason to waste anymore of my time worrying about it. I suggest you do the same.


Marcus Ludtke graduated from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn., in 2001 and started working for POET Risk Management in May of that year. His primary responsibilities include managing POET’s corn position and market research.





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