Recent market volatility has given rise to all kinds of commentary, by assorted market prognosticators who, encouraged by the media, attempt to attribute some degree of significance to very short-term market swings. Investors would be well advised to retain a focus on longer term objectives. Perhaps the most useful explanation for very short-term market swings, and a comment on the futility of trying to assess them, can be garnered from the following nursery rhyme, first published in 1642.
Oh, the grand old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men;
He marched them up to the top of the hill,
And marched them down again.
And when they were up, they were up,
And when they were down, they were down,
And when they were only half-way up,
They were neither up nor down.
All comments and suggestions are welcome.
Walter J. Kirchberger, CFA