You heard me: The bears got it right. Know why? Because they always do.
Why? Because bears are what ... schmart?
If they weren't smart, could they even say things like "short-term rally in a long-term secular bear market"? Not likely. Which is why, with the possible exception of Larry Kudlow, I can barely watch CNBC anymore.
Really. For all of the lip service paid to the shameless "cheerleaders" on Wall Street, Kudlow may be the only talking head with the guts to stand up for this market. If you've seen Larry at work, you know what I mean.
To hear it from the rest of these chumps, the last 50 glorious years have been nothing more than ... you guessed it ... a short-term rally in a long-term secular bear market. It's a wonder working stiffs like us even bother investing!
Bears see things others can't
For example, dopes like us see stocks that are up 300% and 3,000%, respectively, creating billions in wealth for individual investors like you and me. Bears look at 10-year charts of Wal-Mart and Best Buy
In 2006, ExxonMobil announced the highest yearly profit total in U.S. corporate history. Meanwhile, money center banks like Citigroup
Now, let's be clear: I can't promise you'll make money in stocks over the next six months, much less predict what the tech-heavy Nasdaq or the financials will do next week. Nobody can. But I do know that stocks as a group always head higher in the long term. Now, tell me again why the bears are so smart?
And call me a liar, too!
Because the bears don't have it right. They never do. That's why I was drawn to David and Tom Gardner when I had the good fortune of helping them launch their Motley Fool Stock Advisor. In March 2002, they were among the only gurus in the "biz" who were still bullish on America.
That's not to say they were unapologetic new-economy bulls -- though I sure would be a richer man if I'd taken their advice years before and bought Amgen
They just don't do bear markets. And good thing, too. Since they launched Stock Advisor more than five years ago, their subscribers have earned on average 73% per pick -- and seven out of 10 are in the money. That's a torrid pace to keep up, but after five years, I think we may be past the "lucky streak" phase.
Go ahead, call me a perma-bull
Granted, I bought stocks all the way through the bear market. Of course, I was fortunate to buy more near the bottom. And that's the one lesson we can take from the perma-bears: Given the choice, we should always gorge at lower prices, not higher.
Even better, if we can consistently buy rock-solid businesses and keep her steady as she goes, we can't miss. If that makes me naive and a chump, so be it. Because here's my promise to all you perma-bears out there: If at any time in the next 20 years all three major indices should ever hit all-time lows, I'll admit I was wrong.
Meanwhile, our job as investors is to find stocks that will outperform and avoid the bombs. You might just consider a free 30-day trial to Stock Advisor. According to independent watchdog Hulbert Interactive, David and Tom's Stock Advisor recommendations are up 23.1% on an annualized basis, compared with just 7.8% for the broad market.
Of course, if you accept a free trial and don't like what you see, you don't have to pay a cent. But there is one catch: No bears allowed! To start your free Stock Advisor trial and see all the recommendations, click here now.
This article was first published Feb. 8, 2007. It has been updated.
Paul Elliott owns shares of Bank of America, which is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. Best Buy and Time Warner are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Wal-Mart is an Inside Value selection. You can view the entire scorecard instantly with your free trial. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.