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  • Writer's pictureRobert Baharian

15 Years in The Making

My son scored his first goal at his futsal training game over the weekend. And boy was he happy! He's been playing soccer for about 9 months now, and every so often I see his confidence edge up a notch. Rain, hail, or shine, I'm there, cheering him on, debriefing every training session and game in the car on the way home. I'm his biggest fan. I'm never critical, always constructive. Sometimes I feel as though I'm a professional motivational speaker - ha! It's been a long time coming, and he's been quietly persistent, focussed, patient, discipled, and constantly learning. He knew the bigger picture, and he never gave up.

The weekend (9th of March) marked 15 years since the world was about to end. We experienced the worst bear market since the Great Depression. Bank stocks were down over 90% and the S&P 500 was down 57%.

"I’ve never seen the consumer, or the Americans just generally, more fearful than this." Warren Buffett, March 9, 2009

Charts will not do the GFC period any justice. You had to live and breathe it every day. Every morning was a different headline leading one to wonder if all they had done to save over the years would disapear into this air.

Here are the major events that unfolded during probably the most severe financial crisis following the Great Depression.

Source: Bespoke

Since then, the stock market (S&P 500) is up 928% and the US economy just grew faster than China for the first time in a generation.

Today, the stock market and sentiment surrounding it looks much different. The market is at record highs fuelled by hopes for a new era of AI enhanced productivity, and sentiment is near some of its most bullish levels in years.

Was the last 15 years a stroll in the park? Far from it. We had multiple -10%+ dips, we experienced a -32% decline due to a 1 in a 100-year pandemic, then another -25% decline as the tech sector popped, and everything in between. But for those investors, just like my son, who remained calm, patient, discipled, and focussed on the bigger picture, have been rewarded handsomely.

I have no idea where the market will go from here in the short-term, just like I have no idea whether my son will score another goal next week or not. Taking a longer-term view, I know he's going to score many more goals. He just needs to keep playing the game. And in the stock-market, just like soccer, you can't score goals when you don't play the game. Take the long view.


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