The stock market is as much a study in human behavior as it is a study of fundamental trends. Neither changes very much over time. As we started the new year, I reflected on how often some things stay the same. My favorite philosopher Yogi Berra might say, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”
When I piloted airplanes, I taught my passengers how to avoid motion sickness. “Don’t focus inside the cockpit. Pick a distant stationary object like the horizon and fix your eyes upon it.” That’s well and good in clear weather when there is seldom cause for motion sickness.
Managing one’s investments is challenging enough without the endless cacophony of fear that rains down from the financial media every minute of every day. Greece! China! Iran! Bond bubble! The Fed! It never ends. So, let’s instead focus on what really matters.
In any worthwhile pursuit, one cannot ignore the fundamentals. Proactive investment managers pay close attention to the primary trends affecting market prices. In recent quarters, trends in company earnings have taken a sharp turn.