Although not a new documentary (2005), I watched Grizzly Man this weekend (currently available on free movies on demand for NYC area TWC subscribers). It is the story of a man, Timothy Treadwell, who decided to move out into the wilds of Alaska to live with grizzly bears in an effort to “protect” the bears from what he perceived as their enemies (poachers, hunters, and to a lesser extent the parks division). In the process, Mr. Treadwell was fighting his own demons and using this life choice to enable a personal transformation of sorts over his 13 years on the job. The documentary was directed by Werner Herzog a notorious maverick and seasoned director deserving respect for his fearless attitude as well as his unrelenting commitment to his craft.

While being entertaining and visually stimulating, the film provides an interesting look into devotion, goals, and the need to blend dreams with reality (an ability Mr. Treadwell lacked with all too unfortunate consequences). I believe the documentary holds certain lessons and truths about respecting “nature” which are applicable to investing. Mainly, we all must respect the nature of the animal (be it bear or market) and becoming overextended or overly confident in positioning can have dire consequences financially or otherwise. While not a profound realization, it is interesting to see concepts such as this manifest themselves in various non-financial realms of life. Mr. Treadwell became too comfortable with the animals from too many years without incident and seemed to have forgotten the nature of what he was dealing with, a concept not alien to those of us in the speculation business. All things considered, I will certainly take Treadwell’s story to heart in future endeavors.


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