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What a Precarious World We Live In, and $13,990.99

First things first.  We have often encouraged a long-term view from those responsible for investing long-term assets.  We still do.  Despite significant ups and downs along the way, over longer periods the U.S. and most other stock markets seem to move up and to the right.  Stock markets weather civil unrest, bad politics, inflation, economic slowdowns and even wars, always in the end recovering to new highs and beyond.  As a result, a long-term view enables most investors to achieve much better results than those who trade these wiggles in fundamentals, always trying to sell interim peaks and buy back at modestly lower levels.  Those folks who don’t take the long view but also who don’t really have the stomach for buying when markets decline precipitously often get hurt the worst.  We all read about one or two savants who seem to time things exactly right, yet we rarely hear about those who take their capital out at bottoms and then miss the bulk of the market move back up.  Funny how these folks seem to be much less talkative about their experience.

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