Monday, July 14, 2008

What Jason Zweig does right--and wrong--in his inaugural column for "The

"Stop Worrying, and Learn to Love the Bear."

I love the title of Jason Zweig's inaugural "The Intelligent Investor" column for The Wall Street Journal. With this title, Zweig follows advice I give to writers of investment commentary. He takes something that's viewed as negative and finds the positive side. That's a great way to grab your reader's attention.


Zweig says, "...if you are still in your saving and investing years, a bear market is a gift from the financial gods -- and the longer it lasts, the better off you will be. Instead of running from the bear, you should embrace him." So that's his thesis. 

But Zweig falls short in explaining how the bear market will help investors, other than offering the opportunity to buy good stocks cheaply. He gives the example of how the last long bear market--1969-1982--set the stage for stocks to return 18.5% a year for the 18 years following the bear market's end.

Let's assume--and it's a big assumption--that scenario will repeat. Then, sure, folks who are just starting their saving and investing would end up better off. But what about those who are in the midst of their saving and investing? Will they ever make up their losses?

_________________
Susan B. Weiner, CFA
Investment Writing
Writing that's an investment in your success

Check out my website at www.InvestmentWriting.com or sign up for my free monthly e-newsletter.

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