You may have noticed that the stock market has experienced a few difficult days recently and volatility has picked up considerably. After yesterday’s close, the S&P is now at the same price it was at the end of November. But also know that it is still up over 12% in the last 12 months (and up 72% over the last 5 years!).
We know times like these can be stressful, so we always try to let you know our current thinking.
“Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections, or trying to anticipate corrections, than has been lost in corrections themselves.”
– Peter Lynch, legendary investor
The “Inevitable” Correction
Last week I had a meeting with a new prospective client that got me thinking. This gentleman recently sold his company, and had the good fortune of receiving a multi-million dollar payday, so we were meeting to discuss his financial and investment planning. We discussed the merits of investing his capital in the equity market, and he agreed heartily that ownership of a portfolio of great companies would be the best way for him to sustain his income, and maintain his wealth, over the next 30 years of his retirement. However, he had only one condition for the implementation of his investment plan: He wanted to hold off on investing his cash into the equity market until stock prices pull back, because, after all, “a major crash is inevitable.”
“Time, Time, Time is on my side… Yes it is.Time, Time, Time is on my side… Yes it is.”
– Mick Jagger
In last month’s article, we discussed how “Understanding Risk” is one of the great qualities to adopt for anyone who wants to become a great investor. This month we focus on a related, but slightly different quality…Great Investors Take Advantage of Time.
“Risk is not knowing what you are doing.”
– Warren Buffett
In last month’s article, we focused on “Faith in the Future” as one of the great qualities to adopt for anyone who wants to become a great investor. This month we focus on a related, but slightly different quality…Great Investors Understand Risk.
“The time to do lifeboat drills is not after the ship has struck an iceberg”
– Nick Murray
In last month’s article, we focused on “Having a Good Memory” as one of the great qualities to adopt for anyone who wants to become a great investor. This month we focus on a similar, but slightly different quality…Great Investors Don’t get Surprised
Surprise is the Mother of Panic
Great investors understand that all good investing is really simply an exercise in the control of our emotions in the face of uncertainty about the future. In particular, there is an inverse relationship between the intensity of the emotion that we may be experiencing at any given moment, and our ability to think and act rationally. As our emotions crank up, our ability to act effectively begins to deteriorate. As a result, emotion is the enemy of sound investing policy.