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a-leaders-disciplineSchwab’s annual industry conference, Schwab Impact, was held in Denver last week. The conference offered two memorable keynote speakers in former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, and our 43rd President George W. Bush. They both offered authentic recollection of the financial collapse in 2008, and the September 11th terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

In listening to both speakers candidly telling their stories, I had a much deeper appreciation around their thinking and the actions they took to lead our country through those difficult times.

graphWe’ve all been told before that “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes,” and “those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it”.

In the investment world, there’s a lot of truth in those quotes. The economy, the business cycle, and the markets all have observable patterns: expansions & recessions, growth and decline, bulls and bears.

For example, much has been said about the so-called Shiller P/E ratio, which values today’s price relative to a 10-year earnings average.

dinner-is-servedPeople often approach me at cocktail parties asking for my view of the investment climate and/or sharing theirs. While I go to such functions purely seeking to enjoy great friends, food and drink; I’m always happy to oblige.

To tell you the truth, cocktail talk almost always reveals one of the biggest investment mistakes on the planet: trying to be right.

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