#TBT 2003 Newsletter Volume 29

For today's throwback, we take a look at how investors were feeling in the spring of 2003. Spoiler alert: uncertain.

True to form, Nancy takes a good look at the data and reminds us to keep planning for the future. Enjoy this look at the '03 market atmosphere!

War. War. War. Iraq. North Korea. Weapons of mass destruction. Chemical warfare. Biological warfare. Terrorists. It's enough to make me want to pitch a tent in a remote spot in Maine.

Instead, I get up each morning, drink my cup of coffee and head to the office. I invest in the stock market by day and head to the tennis courts at night. I plan for dinner in the evening. I plan for a summer vacation. I plan for retirement. Am I crazy or just too much of an optimist for my own good?

While life is no longer as sweet and innocent as it once was, it is still good and will still go on, despite wars and rumors of wars. I feel fortunate to have been born in the United States. I have faith in our democratic system even at its worst. I know that our capitalistic economy provides us with a rich, wonderful way of life, despite the headlines from the past year pointing out scandal and greed.

Whatever problems we face as we step into this uncertain future, we WILL persevere. That I know with certainty. The rest I must leave in God's hands. Right now, my biggest concern is the price of gasoline!

The economic data is good. Housing starts are still strong. Interest rates remain low. Manufacturing is showing signs of life. Unemployment figures are looking good. January saw big improvements for retail. Even the battered high-tech semiconductor business is improving. All this points to a better business climate.

Yet, the stock market still slides. What's happening?

Uncertainty is the nemesis of Wall Street. In a perfect world, the price of stocks today represent their value in the future. But, it's not a perfect world. When the specters of war and terrorism loom over us, the future becomes cloudy.

We wonder if the blue-chips of today will becomes the has-beens next week because of some unforeseen event. And we don't invest another penny in American ingenuity and grit. After all, we're all doomed! Right? Wrong!

The cloud of doubt and fear WILL lift. The uncertainty lies in the "when" not the "if." Some analysts are predicting a 10% or more increase as markets adjust to the data. When the specters of war and terrorism are dealt with realistically, the real business of America can proceed. God Bless America!

--Nancy's New Perspectives Newsletter, Volume 29, March, April 2003

#stockmarket #uncertainty #fear

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