It's About Time - The High Cost of Seeking Safety
Comment of the Day

September 05 2013

Commentary by David Fuller

It's About Time - The High Cost of Seeking Safety

My thanks to Rod Smyth, Bill Ryder and Ken Liu for their ever-interesting letter, published by RiverFront. It is posted in the Subscriber's Area but here is the opening
The potential of a military strike against Syria has raised investor concerns, causing stocks around the world to retreat and investor sentiment to fall into the 'pessimism zone' (see Weekly Chart).

We do not believe an investor would benefit from abandoning a well thought out investment plan to seek the safety of cash. History shows that once a geopolitical 'crisis' is underway, it is extremely difficult to time both an exit and a re-entry into stocks. Furthermore, we believe the tradeoff between the short-term safety of capital and the long-term growth of capital is at an extreme. We know this all too well because RiverFront defines risk as losing money over specific time frames.

An investor who wants to protect capital and minimize the risk of losing money over a three-year time frame will, in our view, experience significantly lower average annual returns than someone willing to extend that time frame to five, seven, or ten years. This is because two things have occurred simultaneously - the rise in stock prices and the decline in long and short-term interest rates.

David Fuller's view There is some very useful historic data in this issue for subscribers, plus an interesting sentiment poll

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