Redefining Economic Downturns

Early in my career as an investment analyst on Wall Street, I discovered an important truth in providing sound advice to my clients: although my first job was to determine which companies and stocks (my specialty was the retailing industry) would provide the best investment returns over an intermediate-term (say, one to three years) or longer-term time frame, my second one was to determine when stocks of retailing companies, or the stock market as a whole, might be most favorably owned. Without question, there were long periods during which retail stocks and stocks in general were unrewarding. During such times, a buy-and-hold posture would prove to be destructive. These periods usually coincided with ...

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