2009 Letters to Clients

FOURTH QUARTER 2009
Here’s a quick quiz for you:

Q: What was the worst decade for stocks since 1820?

A: According to the experts, you just lived it.

That’s right. The media and analysts have informed us that the decade of the 2000s was the absolute worst for stocks, ever. Worse than the 1970s. Worse than the 1930s. Worse than the 1860s. Worse than any other decade in the nearly 200-year history of the modern American stock market. Read More »

 

THIRD QUARTER 2009
“Sometimes, then – very often the most important times – successful investing requires moving forward on nothing more than principle. When panic grips the market and investors are selling everything from Morgan Stanley to McDonalds to municipal bonds with the same disregard, you can’t know in real time when that mindset will abate. You can only know that such events represent a complete break with the way markets work, and that historically it will not be those who stay in the market that lose their shirt – it will be those who blink. Read More »

 

SECOND QUARTER 2009
During the relentless selloff in the market that occurred in the first two-plus months of this year, we raised the point that historic market declines are usually accompanied by historic market gains on the other side. Those rebounds typically come quickly and unexpectedly, and are completely out of synch with the day’s conventional wisdom. Investors who miss those early gains coming out of a market downturn typically miss out on fully one-third of the gains a new bull market has to offer. Read More »

 

FIRST QUARTER 2009
The past six months have left most everyone with the inescapable feeling that we are living in historic times. The near-collapse of the financial system in the fall of 2008 led to a market panic the likes of which the world hasn’t witnessed in nearly a century. That, in turn, led the governments of the major developed countries of the world to take what can only be described as an activist role in the global economy, priming the pump of the financial markets with massive capital infusions, bailing out one huge multinational corporation after another deemed “too big to fail” and launching creative lending programs that in many respects are real-time economic experiments. Read More »