What a decade the first one of the 2000’s has been for stock market investors! As I sit by my beautifully lit Christmas tree sharing an ottoman with my mom, I feel drawn to write a blog about the past challenging 10 years. I heard on CNBC this week that this has been the worst ever decade for stock market performance.
I recall the prediction by many in 1999 that the stock market would not perform as well in the upcoming decade as it had in the 1990’s. Was that an understatement or what? What lies ahead for 2010 and beyond? Being an eternal optimist, I recall that after the recession in the early 1990’s, companies had cut costs and downsized, laying the foundation for profit growth in the years that followed. I would like to think that a repeat of this same corporate cost cutting, the need for increased inventories and global growth will drive the economy ahead, taking the stock market with it. Sometimes, however, my optimism gets me in trouble. On the other hand, I think that most Americans are paying down credit card debt as interest rates rise, thereby holding back on their spending, and we have already seen an incredible move upward in the stock market. I certainly do not have the answer. I can assure you, however, that I will be quick to move when the next bear growls, and will continue to hold a well diversified portfolio.
We all know that eventually the bear will return. For now, I think I will be grateful for the fantastic move off of the bottom that has occurred since early March, allowing investors to recapture much of their losses. And with that, I will wish everyone happy holidays, whatever your faith may be, and a home filled with joy, family and friends over the next few days.