History Repeats Itself and Progress Continues

Dec 2010

I just finished a phone conver­sation with a client.  This individual, like many investors, is concerned about today’s economic and political climate.  As the client rattled off concerns, I couldn’t help but think that virtually every worrisome condition today has occurred in a similar (or worse) form in the past—frequently within our lifetimes.  I’ve lived through (or studied) many periods of general pessimism, and I can tell you this:  Despite occasional very major problems (a Civil War, two world wars, a Great Depression with 25% unemployment, galloping inflation, sky-high interest rates, and crazy politics and politicians), to date every recession has ended—and been followed by new highs in GDP.  Further, every bear market has ended—and been followed by new highs in the S&P 500.  I like that record.