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Ken Fisher: A Grateful Dead Year

January 06, 2010 | About:

2009 was a textbook case of how stock markets are supposed to react to big bear markets and recessions.

As the Grateful Dead used to sing, "what a long, strange trip it's been." When I started in this industry, 38 years ago, classy firms like Disney and DuPont sold at 40 times earnings. These were "one decision" stocks--supposedly so reliable that you could make a decision to buy them and just put them away in a safe deposit box forever. This era of glamour stock investing was followed by a decade of negative returns. And then, just as most Americans had given up on stocks, there began an almost unparalleled 18-year run for stocks.

By 2000 it was another "new era," and "clicks" not "bricks" were everything. Profits were supposedly irrelevant. Since then stock returns have been negative.

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