“It won’t last forever, but let me talk about “the elephant in the room””
“They say an elephant never forgets. What they don't tell you is, you never forget an elephant.”
“Looking at the above performance, I feel like I’m writing an obituary for a very dear friend…” That’s what I felt & wrote in my October 2008 email, when the Fund hit the worst monthly performance in its then very short history of only 10 months. The second worst was September 2008, the 11th month. And this month we have just experienced the third worst month out of the 147 month history of the Fund.
We are now in the eye of the storm. Whenever & wherever you switch on, you only hear about the “elephant in the room”. We are where it feels the most unpleasant and/or unwise to own any equities, or any financial assets, as a matter of fact. The only good news that I can serve is:
It won’t last forever.
Yes, we are living through a real unheard of trauma and it will almost certainly take a while for things to get back to normal. But we shouldn’t forget that shares are productive assets. Those productive assets are run by human beings: entrepreneurs, companies and their staff. Most stakeholders will come out of this crisis stronger.
Therefore, it is time to take stock and read essential books. Recently I came across “The Plague” from Nobel Prize-winning author Albert Camus. The Plague (La Peste), published in 1947, tells the story of a plague sweeping through the city of Oran (Algeria). In the book Camus addresses a number of questions related to the nature of destiny and the human condition. I was fascinated by the pertinence and the modernity of its address. High on my list of recommendation!
Coming back to the subject of productive assets, while emotional distress may be taking over any rational thinking, we may be looking at real bargains of “once-in-a-decade prices” as the window of opportunity is likely to be open for only a few months. Do I need to remind you that, historically, a bear market lasts 7 months on average?
In other words: it won’t last forever.
To be continued.