Is It Different This Time?

In his latest article for Canada’s Globe and Mail, Validea CEO John Reese says that the current U.S. recovery — while much-maligned in the media — isn’t all that different from some other recoveries in U.S. history.

“Recoveries are never smooth and easy,” Reese writes, adding that bull markets aren’t smooth and easy either. After researching a number of past recoveries and bull markets, he says “the current U.S. turnaround — with all its shortcomings — is in a lot of ways a pretty normal one.”

Among the factors Reese examines when comparing the current recovery to past recoveries are gross domestic product growth, manufacturing activity levels, and the unemployment rate. And he looks at how corrections have interrupted bull market runs in every bull of the last 50 years.

“Is this recovery different from past recoveries?” Reese concludes. “Of course it is. Every recovery has unique twists, but the data show it might not be as different as you think. Sir John Templeton, the legendary investor, was fond of saying that the four most dangerous words in investing are, This time it’s different. Investors who’ve been fleeing the market should remember Templeton’s sage advice.”

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