Stay the Course

The Wall Street Journal carries a headline today titled “Growls Keep Coming From the Bear’s Den”. This article, which touts warnings from investment strategists about bad things to come for common stock investors, arrives on the heels of one of the best periods for investing in stocks (the four years and also the three months ending March 31, 2013). So, what to make of the noise? Ignore it.

As long-term investors, we at Sigma Investment Counselors are very clear with our clients that we focus on just that – the long term. We make no attempt to “time the market” as we remain convinced that no such skill exists. Instead, we focus on very broad factors, such as energy independence, or curing fiscal imbalances, that we think will drive valuations for extended time periods.

In my nearly 30 years of providing investment counsel, there has never been a shortage of valid worries. At the beginning of my career was the seemingly intractable problem of inflation (subsequently tamed), and then the Soviet threat (subsequently broken), and then the Reagan deficits (cured for a while) and then – and then – and then. During my career, a well-diversified investment portfolio, held with patience, has provided solid returns and enabled investors to achieve their objectives. This is not to say that risks do not exist but, with proper discipline, these risks can be managed.

All comments or questions are welcomed.

Bob Bilkie