Keep Calm and Carry On

First, my thanks to Dr. Mark Dotzour and to Simon Sinek for bringing the “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster (displayed on the back of this newsletter) to my attention.  Both Mark and Simon have written excellent blog posts featuring this poster, and I encourage you to become familiar with their websites.

Dr. Dotzour1 is Chief Economist and Director of Research for The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University in College Station.  A native Wichitan, he earned a PhD. at the University of Texas at Austin, and for the better part of four decades, he’s been married to my cousin Lu Ann.  Obviously, Mark’s a very smart guy.

Simon Sinek2 was born in Wimbledon, England.  He is the author of Start With Why:  How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, published by Portfolio Hardcover in 2009. Simon now lives in New York City, and teaches a graduate level class on strategic communication at Columbia University.

This is the time of year that traditionally has given us weakness—indeed, in some cases, panic—in the equity markets.  Countless reasons have been given for this seasonal tendency, and some of those reasons even seem credible, though none can provide us with certainty.

I myself could offer a dozen what-if scenarios for why a market setback might still happen this year.  But, as I’ve said many times prior, if we sell out now and wait for the smoke to clear, only you would know when to get back in.  Heaven knows I wouldn’t. 

But please don’t mistake my attitude for complacency.  It is anything but that.   Unlike Britain in 1939, we’re not facing annihilation.  But, it might not hurt to remember that a grossly outmanned people—the land of the stiff upper lip—were the first to successfully push back the Nazi juggernaut.  In so doing Britain helped send a monster to, uh … his just end.  Without doubt it was the British attitude of defiance and self-assuredness—embodied in Winston Churchill and our poster of the month—that gave that tiny island nation its inestimable advantage.

Let us then be Churchilian investors, assuming the same attitude of persistence and fortitude—and yes, Patience, and Discipline, and Confidence in the Future; and come what may—keep calm and carry onmh