The Cruelest Month

T.S. Eliot said that April is the cruelest month. But among stock investors, September’s got it, hands down.

Since the Dow average was first calculated, the average market return in September has been minus 1%. All other months have been up about three quarters of a percent. September has been the worst.

Does this mean pull your money from the market now? Not on your life! There’s no fundamental reason why September should be the worst month–it just happens to work out that way. Remember, out of 100 random variables, five of them will be statistically significant–even if we know that they’re just random numbers. That’s what I call “pictures in the clouds.”

Without underlying justification, investing on price patterns alone is unlikely to be rewarding. Memory and desire are undependable guides.


Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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