The cloud of election-related uncertainty cannot pass fast enough. By the time you get this letter, we will be close to 30 days from the election. Most of the white noise, name calling, intentional divisiveness, and scaremongering will have come to a merciful end. We will know the general direction the country will travel for the next four years.
Push. Fall. Rise. Repeat ─ I first heard these words a few weeks ago from an NHL commercial as the League prepared its audience for the upcoming playoff season. Right away I saw the message as a perfect metaphor for what investments and the economy are all about. The “fall” part of the cycle, especially when sudden and dramatic, is what many people have a hard time with.
In my last letter, I discussed successful long-term investment as a cycle of Push. Fall. Rise. Repeat. Deeper observations and additional reflection on my part—and recent Brexit volatility—confirm that being a long-term investor means experiencing turbulent events regularly.
I expect a sharp downturn in the US stock market this morning.
There is not one single company we own because U.K is a part of the European Union and thus not one single company we want to sell today because the British people have voted to leave. I will rather see a vote than a resort to violence.
This is perhaps the only economic and political article you need to read all year to understand the phenomenon of Trump, Sanders, why people are voting for them.
2016 is an election year with no incumbent running. That means all the candidates will go negative on the economy and its prospects. Their game plan will be to say, “Everything is rotten—but pick me as your next president! I will fix it, and all will be perfect—if you elect me as your next president.”
They say it ain’t over until the fat lady sings. I think I hear the U.S. stock market singing the following, “I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never going to keep me down. I sing the songs that remind me of the good times and I sing the songs that remind me of the better times.”
For the past six months, we’ve had just enough economic bad news to make some people sell and head for the exits. At the same time, we’ve had just enough good news for others to keep on keeping on.
Be still! The effectiveness of this simple but profound wisdom has proven valuable for thousands of years. Adherence to “Be still” has been profitable for successful long-term investors like Warren Buffett, yet it is very hard for many investors to follow, especially during market turbulence.