Face Your Fiscal Cliff Fears

Validea CEO John Reese says that investors who are worried about the fiscal cliff shouldn’t bail on stocks.

“History shows that even if we do go off the cliff, the consequences might not be as dire as many expect,” Reese wrties in his latest Forbes.com column. “A recent study by O’Shaughnessy Asset Management, the firm headed by quantitative investing guru James O’Shaughnessy, found that high or increasing tax rates [which the cliff would trigger] have historically had little impact on the stock market.”

For those whose fears are leading them to consider jumping out of stocks entirely, Reese says to “consider an option that can let you stay exposed to potential market gains while giving a bit of downside protection. It involves focusing on what you might call ‘Earnings All Stars’ — firms that have lengthy histories of increasing earnings per share, through both good times and very bad times.” He looks at a handful of such firms, including Tractor Supply Company.