I met with some board members from the local CFA Society for lunch today. I commented, “When was the last time you saw two down days in a row?” The answers ranged from at least a month, to sometime in May. I use the S&P 500 as a measure, as most professionals do, and the answer is June 24th. Admittedly, one of those declines was very small, but if you want to go back further, there were three down days in a row ending on June 12th.
This teaches a lesson: in a bull market, most professionals get skittish, and are looking for the turn, and think the market is running mindlessly higher without respite.
For investors that have reduced risk, sensing overvaluation, the continued rise in prices numbs the senses, and makes things seem worse than they are for those that are trying to beat the market.
Why do I write this? We all need to take step back and focus on first principles. What are our goals for clients? What time horizon are we looking at? Why are we looking at day-to-day performance?
Far better to try to analyze what is being neglected, than agonize over past performance.