Posts Tagged ‘Wall Street’

Big Brother: Friend or Foe to Your Investments?

J. Michael Martin, JD, CFP®
Chief Investment Officer for Financial Advantage Inc.

For an entire generation, investors were swept up in an intoxicating environment of unbridled opportunity: the dismantling of the Soviet empire, the resurgence of capitalism in Asia and Eastern Europe, the Internet revolution, a global credit boom, the trade boom, the housing boom and the energy boom. That was our investment context, and while it lasted every market correction was an investment opportunity. As everyone now knows, the cheap and plentiful credit that supported this giddy expansion has imploded. And that changes everything, though not everyone realizes it yet.

Many of us were first jostled from our American reverie when it was brought to our attention this year that equities have lost money for an entire decade! Whatever happened to that fabled “10.4 percent average annual return over the long term”? Whatever happened to “over long periods of time, stocks earn more than bonds”? As advisors, we have been examining the basic big-picture assumptions investors have long accepted about the world in which we live. Some of our discoveries are a bit unsettling.

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