Does it get any better than this?
Consumer confidence is down at depression levels. New home sales are near all-time lows. Some of our largest financial institutions are looking at government bailouts. And the Cubs have the best record in baseball. Can Armageddon be far off?
This bad news is old news to the financial markets. The stock market has fallen by about 20% since last fall. That leads to bad feelings about the markets, the economy, and life in general.
But life goes on. People buy food and clothes. Kids go back to school. And improvements in the way we make and distribute things mean that companies can lower their prices and still make higher profits. An excessively negative outlook can lead to bargains in the stock market.
John Templeton once noted that bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism, and die on euphoria. With pessimism about the economy reaching peak levels, it just may be time to buy.
Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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