Wednesday, August 21, 2013

That doesn't apply to us . . .

From Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff's This Time is Different:
"The essence of the this-time-is-different syndrome is simple.  It is rooted in the firmly held belief that financial crises are things that happen to other people in other countries at other times; crises do not happen to us, here and now.  We are doing things better, we are smarter, we have learned from past mistakes.  The old rules of valuation no longer apply."
Such confidence was abundant in the years leading up to the financial crisis that started in 2007.

Today, the stock market is just below its all-time high reached in early August 2013 and above top reached in 2007 before the crash.  Some people believe we're due for another epic crash while others think March 2009 was the generational bottom for the market and that we're in another long-running stock market boom (though there will be short-term market declines).

I have no idea where the market is going.  For years after the 2007-2009 market crash, I expected the market to resume a sharp decline and drop further than the low point reached in March 2009.  The market has more than doubled since then.  Having a dogmatic view blinded me to trading opportunities.

Since then I've truly accepted the possibility that the market can go much higher.  And of course the market can go lower.  Whatever happens, we live in very interesting times.

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