Amen of the Week
“If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
- George Washington
Happy President’s Day! We recently published Fielder’s latest investor letter: "The Best Defense". Here are a few excerpts ...
“Welcome to another bear market… The Russell 2000 (the small cap index) and the MSCI EAFE (international index) have both fallen by over 20% since July… I’m not losing sleep over the fact that we’re in a bear market. Ugly markets are nothing new to me. During the market declines in 1990, 1997, 2000, and even 2008, I felt a cleansing – as if lower prices were wiping out the excesses and creating some compelling buying opportunities. Today, however, I have a different feeling – an uneasy feeling… there are secular changes afoot that deeply disturb me…
There is no easy path back to normal… The most important price in our economy, interest rates (the price of money), has long been under government control. Now central bankers are adopting more aggressive price distortions: going from zero to negative interest rates. This is Twilight Zone stuff. Soon you may actually have to pay your bank or broker for the privilege of depositing (lending them) your money. Some banks' customers already are. This Financial Repression is unjust to savers, it retards economic growth, and it destabilizes society. Yet, it is the “easy” way out politically for governments to nominally meet their promises to entitlement recipients and creditors…
Ironically, the best way to protect yourself against this pessimistic outlook is to adopt an optimist’s attitude. Yes, there is an assault coming upon owners of capital. Your best defense, though, is a strong offense.
Read the full letter HERE.
An Ode to a Great Founder
Today we commemorate George Washington. (For those of you under the age of 40, you probably never learned anything about him in school. He’s the guy on the dollar bill.) As bleak and uncertain as the future looks today, just imagine how much worse it must have seemed back in George's day. America’s greatest years of growth and progress were also its messiest and most volatile. Pessimists of the day surely seemed wise for their worry. There was constant threat of war, accelerating inflation, and even a Whiskey Rebellion, of all things!
Through it all, there were people who tuned out the negative noise and focused on building and investing in the great enterprises. The prosperity that our society enjoys today owes everything to those naive souls – the optimists who didn’t know any better than to look for and expect the best. These kind of people will always exist. May Washington’s beloved homeland continue to attract and retain them!
Yours in the Field,
Frank Byrd, CFA
While the information presented herein is believed to be accurate, Fielder Capital Group LLC (Fielder) makes no express warranty as to the completeness or accuracy, nor can it accept responsibility for errors appearing in the document. Fielder is under no obligation to notify you of any errors discovered later or of any subsequent changes in opinions. Nothing herein should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any of these securities. It should not be assumed that any of the securities, transactions, or holdings discussed will prove to be profitable in the future or that investment recommendations or decisions Fielder makes in the future will be profitable or will equal the investment performance of the securities discussed herein. Fielder or its employees may have an economic interest in securities mentioned herein. This information is intended only for the recipient of this email. Under no circumstances should this report be shared with or forwarded to anyone else without the express permission of Fielder.