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Truth is Stranger Than Fiction

Our family's Spring Break trip to Florida in 2000 took place during the infamous dot-com bubble burst. I can vividly remember my dad's reaction to the news of the bursting of the tech bubble. He had some of his portfolio (I'm not sure how much) invested in dot-com stocks via the Nasdaq Composite Index, which declined by 25% that week of our Spring Break. It ultimately took 15 years for the Nasdaq to get back to its high from the year 2000.

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Triumph of the Optimists

Amidst the politically-charged climate in which we live, we can lose sight of the progress mankind has made over time. We often remind our clients the U.S. stock market has handsomely paid patient, long-term investors over time. One simple method for gauging economic progress over time is to consider the evolution of the largest publicly-traded companies in the US. Of the ten largest companies in the US today, only four were founded prior to 1970 (JPMorgan Chase; Johnson & Johnson; Procter & Gamble; and Visa).

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Gaining Perspective on Stock Market Volatility

One of the most important rules of investing is this: tuning in to media sources (be they financial or general) will not help you be a better investor. In fact, it will likely make you a poorer investor. Does it help you to know how much the Dow or the Nasdaq moves in a given day? If the Dow is down 200 points today, will that alter your investment strategy? Will it alter your mood?

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The Importance of Timing Market Returns: Sort of

You can’t time the market. At least I can’t. Market timing is an investment hypothesis that has been tried for the 240 years of stock exchange history in the United States. The basic idea is to buy an investment when it is “low” or undervalued, and then sell that investment when it is “high” or overvalued. The problem is that I don’t know when the “low” or “high” has truly occurred. I know when investments are “lower” and “higher”, because those terms are always relative to some reference point in the past.

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