Tomorrow’s Crisis May Not Look Like Yesterday’s

Dec 2014

…some investors have built portfolios that would hold up relatively well if the circumstances of the 2007–09 recession recurred.  However, if there is another financial crisis in the future, we suspect it will be very different.  Whereas banks and other financial institutions proved to be weak points in the economic system back then, banks are capitalized much more strongly today.  Whereas a vastly overheated housing market played a key role in the last crisis, today’s housing market is barely lukewarm.  Whereas a temporary deflation characterized the last recession, benefitting government bonds, it’s certainly possible that the next recession may feature galloping inflation (such as in the early 1980s), which hurts bonds (and ultimately helps stocks).  As a general rule, preparations for avoiding an earlier conflict or crisis frequently prove to be ineffectual for the future.  That’s why an investor's best defense against investment risks is a knowledgeable analysis and assessment of the economic and investment environments, not a … portfolio of yesterday’s survivors.  Successful investing isn’t easy, but we seek to apply sound analysis to today’s—and tomorrow’s—ever-changing environments.