Long before any of the people and business we all see as wildly successful, someone believed when no one else would, someone invested when no one else would.

What is your vision for the world? Why aren’t you investing your time, talent and resources in pursuing that dream? Don’t believe you have a unique vision? Who do you know that has a unique vision that needs you to invest your time, talent and resources into in order for that vision to be realized? Believe in, have faith, trust in, have optimism. It is how wealth is created and dreams are realized.

One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself. – Lucille Ball

Optimism? Is it that simple? What is it really? Optimism is having hope, confidence about the future, the successful result, a conviction that everything will work out to the good, to the positive, in the end. It’s about trusting people, believing in life. Not waiting on all the facts to make a decision, but believing in the possibilities.

Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier. – Colin Powell

Optimism is more profitable than pessimism. You have to believe before others will. Even if you are proven wrong, dust yourself off and find something else to believe in. It is what the most successful investors and entrepreneurs do again and again.

Optimism is why people start businesses. It is why people are willing to spend all of their time and invest all of their money into realizing a dream, turning their vision into everyone else’s reality. Optimism is why people who run businesses hire people. They believe the person they just interviewed can help them get one step closer to realizing their dream. Optimism is why crazy dreams about starting a company that could ship anything, from anywhere to anywhere overnight, happen (thank you Fred Smith, founder of FedEx).

Optimism is why Steve Jobs created the personal computer marketplace, from both a hardware and software perspective, then created digital publishing, then recreated the animated movie industry, then reinvented the music industry, then reinvented the telecommunications industry (and what a phone was capable of doing), then created tablet computing. For all those who believed in him and optimistically invested in his company, he created hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth. But that’s not what happened in the beginning. In 1976, Ronald Wayne, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak formed a little partnership called Apple. Unlike Jobs and Wozniak, Wayne had personal assets. So when he was asked to personally guarantee debt, Wayne surrendered his 10 percent share of the company for $800. Today, 10 percent of Apple is worth over $55 billion.

Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. – Vaclav Havel

We have all heard the multiple axioms about optimism and how a positive mental attitude, an outlook that believes in the best possible outcomes, is a better way to live your life. We hear these axioms so often that it’s difficult not to begin to see them as trite, not really possible, and not really true. As a research analyst, I am trained to dig through all the details of what can go wrong, what might make a company a bad investment, but that is just the preventative step. As predicted by John Bierbusse, the first analyst I trained under, “In the long run, the challenge is to consistently apply the proper level of cynicism without ever becoming a cynic.” He was so perfectly, concisely correct in this assertion. In order to be a good analyst, I had to discover what could go wrong, but in order to make investors money, I have to believe, I have to see the possibilities of success in a company’s future. If I believe, if I’m optimistic before others are, before everyone else sees the potential, I create wealth for myself and my clients. Because as Eric Davis observed, “If you don’t believe in something, you’ll fall for anything.”


As chief market strategist, managing director and senior transportation analyst for Avondale Partners, Donald is a frequent guest on CNBC and Fox. He has been recognized as a top stock picker by “The Wall Street Journal,”“Fortune,”“Zacks” and “StarMine.”