Election Angst, Fertilizer, Activists and Insurance

Friday file Thoughts on two new personal buys and some insurance company valuations

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, November 9, 2012

So many people are asking me about the election results that I feel like I should share some of my opinions — but the short answer is: I can’t help it, stock prices that fall make me want to buy more stock. Stocks fell a bit after the election. And I bought some more today.

It may be that the world is heading to Hell in a handbasket — but people have been predicting that for as long as there have been people, and investors have particularly been predicting that for the last two or three years as the bad news from Europe, the clearly unsustainable US Government budget, and big-picture issues like an aging population make those who invest money for a living very worried.

And since many big-money investment managers, individual investors, and many high-profile businesspeople really, really, really wanted Obama to lose — and wanted it so badly that they shouted about it on TV and predicted doom if Obama was reelected — I think that there’s a good chance that a good number of investors really “drank the kool-ade” on that, not only making a loud argument but actually believing in their hearts that if Romney became president the economy would be OK, and if Obama was reelected the world would collapse.

That’s just silly.

Not that I want to start up a political debate here — in truth, that’s the last thing I want — and it might be that the stock market and the economy would have done better with a Romney presidency than they will with another four years of President Obama, but we don’t know that and we never will, and the one thing that we consistently do as a people is overreact, often dramatically, to minute changes in the philosophical approaches of our leaders.

Neither Romney nor Obama was likely to or is inclined to institute a police state, throw old people off of Medicare, confiscate private property on a grand scale, start a new war, or try to crush either poor people or rich people. What we do know is that the economy is growing slowly, that a lot of people are out of work in this country and in Europe, and that there will have to be dramatic changes over the next decade in the way the US government collects and spends its revenue… and that ...

Sign Up for a Premium Membership

To view the rest of this article (and to have full access to the rest of our articles), sign up.
Already a member, log in.

Become a member