How Companies Might Reward Shareholders in 2016

As investors, it's easy to lose interest in perspective, but we rarely lose interest in predictions about the future. For more details on this subject and a copy of Nick Murray's article, please e-mail margo@assetsandincome.com.

For all of us, going into the end of the year, perhaps this quote will give us something to explore:

"A successful inventor is an accident-prone scientist who pays attention. A successful investor is someone who makes all the mistakes that everyone else makes, but learns from them." --Jeffrey Gundlach

Recently, we attended a due diligence meeting with many of the mutual fund managers we invest with and our research team at Litman Gregory. Mr. Gundlach, one of the "bond kings" and manager of the Doubleline Total Return Fund, spoke at that convention. Mr. Gundlach became famous because of his investment returns, so naturally, we pay a lot of attention to his stories, whether or not our reasons are rational.

Gundlach's uncle helped invent the Xerox copy machine. His uncle was accident-prone and learned along the way. Investing is similar, says one of the world's most successful investors. We make a lot of mistakes. Successful investors learn from their mistakes.

Friends, if you click the link to the attachment (request from margo@assetsandincome.com), and read a prognosis for investing in the stock market in 2016, think about what you've learned over these years of investing. Isn't one of the lessons something like "We always muddle through."?

Over the past 10 years, we've seen the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. But we found a way to not just survive, but grow. Stock markets are about 50% higher than they were before their peak in 2008, and about three times as large as they were at the bottom. Stock dividends are nearly twice as large as they were 10 years ago.*

Perspective is hard to come by without an honest assessment of the past. What mistakes have you made? What have you learned? One big lesson may be that stocks go up and down, but they historically go up over the long haul.

*Source: http://us.spindices.com/indices/equity/sp-500

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