The What If Game

Market pessimists have been playing the “what if” game for at least a year now. As in…

  • What if inflation runs over the economy like yesterday’s road kill?
  • What if the government raises rates too soon or too sharply?
  • What if people are too strapped to start spending again?
  • What if more banks fail?
    • What if Ford’s and GM’s new models don’t take off or Boeing’s Dreamliner stalls on the runway again?

In the meantime, the market has gone up over 60 percent. At Investor’s Daily Edge, we don’t play the “what if “game. Throughout the market’s big run, our analysts recommended specific stocks and bonds, and we continue to do so.

As IDE’s Steve McDonald says, “The optimists looked beyond the obvious and saw the crash for what it was, the best buying opportunity of their lifetimes. The pessimists ran for cover and missed it, and are still missing it.”


You can always find an excuse not to invest. A good one cropped up recently. It had to do with China.

China “stepped on the monetary brakes,” the Financial Times reported, raising the auction yield on its three-month government bonds. How big an increase? From 1.3280 percent to 1.3684 percent. So is a 0.04 point increase any reason to panic? Some pundits think so.

The main worry isn’t about China’s local stock market. It’s the effect a slowdown in China would have on markets around the world that has some people’s panties in a bunch. If China continues to raise rates and growth declines or even stalls, the economic downdraft could be huge. Commodities, energy, and countries that supply raw materials (like Australia and Brazil) would all be impacted.

But it’s still a “what if” scenario. It hasn’t happened yet. It may never happen. Or the timing and degree to which it does happen could be way off.

While it makes sense to keep an eye on the future, the mistake many investors make is to allow “possibilities” to prevent them from investing. The only “what if” you should worry about is this one…

What if you miss the next great investment opportunity because you were too worried about events that haven’t happened and may never happen?

Isn’t the market too high?

The prices we saw in March ain’t comin’ back. It was a great time to buy. What about today? Consider:

  • Cost cutting has made corporate America lean and mean. Most companies have been hoarding their cash for when the economy bounces back.
  • It’s still a low-interest-rate environment. So don’t fight the Fed. Companies and the market grow hand-in-hand when interest rates are low.
  • The amount of stimulus is equal to the amount of the last 10 stimulus packages put together. All that government spending may come back to bite us in the long haul. But in the short run, it’s spurring demand.
  • There’s a big inventory rebuild ahead of us. Production was cut to the bone. Now it’s cycling back up to meet rising demand.

Some of the best high-quality companies have been left behind.

In January’s debut issue of Sound Profits, Andrew Gordon said, “Wall Street has just gone though a classic rebound phase. Many stock prices are inflated. And the ones inflated the most are also the least deserving companies that lured investors in with their beaten-down prices. Price-wise, those companies will fall back. Your opportunity is with the big and powerful ‘beached whales.'”

Now is a great time to invest in the right companies.  

The obvious ones are gone. But every month, Sound Profits will be uncovering hidden gems.

In this month’s issue, for example,Steve McDonald reveals an opportunity in a depressed sector where there is great value. Despite the bargain prices, investors are still scared to invest in this corner of the market.

As Warren Buffett said… “Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful.” In this sector, fear rules. Steve says it’s time to get a little greedy