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Embracing Squid

02/20/2014

A few years ago, Rolling Stone magazine described Goldman Sachs as a vampire squid on the face of mankind, sucking the life out of it.  I thought there was so much truth to that statement that it must certainly appear somewhere in the Bible??  As a result, I am intellectually unable to stop using it.  However, they do have a great research department, and I follow them closely.

Their latest analysis expects weakness in the first half will be a little greater than expected, partly because the second half of last year was better than expected.  And, of course, there is the unknown impact of the unusually bad weather.  But, the Q4 earnings beat estimates by a respectable 5.8%, revealing no weakness.  They expect the economy is hitting a minor pothole, not taking a swoon.

They also emphasize the stumbling emerging markets are two speeds.  Countries like Brazil, Indonesia, India, Turkey, and South Africa are doing the stumbling while most other countries are still emerging.  This is important, as well as a good reminder why ETFs of individual markets tend to be greater risks than a mutual fund of emerging markets, generally speaking.

Interestingly, they have done some research showing there is a 57% probability of a 10% downturn in any given year but a 63% probability when the market is high, like now.  As I have said, downturns are normal healthy in the long turn.  Embrace the downtowns . . . but not vampire squids!

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