Even in the heat of summer, I can’t help thinking about the cycles of nature—such a useful way to think about the cycles in the economy and the markets.
Winter, the fallow season, is a time for regeneration and recharging, getting ready for future growth. In spring seeds are planted and the first green shoots hint at better days ahead. Then a season of growth produces crops in a cornucopia of kinds and colors, to be harvested in the fall. Then it is time for rest and rejuvenation again.
Likewise, the economy grows and rests in turns. In recessions, excesses get corrected. Overall business activity shrinks. Resources used by businesses generally decline in price. Ultimately, a new growth cycle is spurred by the impulse to make a dollar by meeting the needs of others. Producers of goods and services prosper, until excesses create the conditions for recession again.
Unlike nature, however, the economy has a less-set schedule. The last recession was a just a two-month affair; some are two years long. Growth cycles may also be long or short. And further complicating things, some investments do well when others do poorly.
So we look for companies that have seasons of growth ahead, the best bargains we can find. For some holdings, it pays to own over extended periods, firms that dominate their sectors and will emerge from slowdowns in better a position to prosper in the future.
And when the slowdowns occur across the whole economy, we trust that, just as winter gives way to spring, the economy will find new growth after the recession. It always has, every single time in American history, although there are no guarantees about the future.
Clients, if you would like to get your portfolios in closer alignment with the seasons in the market, please email us or call.
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