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Focus on fundamentals

When stocks tumbled in the final month of the third quarter, shareholders cast a sense of insecurity about near-term investing, Bob Landaas told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“I think it’s clear that the markets have to get past the European debt crisis, and it’s not easily solvable,” the president of Landaas & Company told the Journal Sentinel’s Paul Gores in an article published Oct. 9.

“Many of us anticipate that Greece will, in fact, default,” Bob said in the article. “The situation is very different from here in the United States. It’s sovereign debt that’s a problem in Europe, and it’s consumer debt that’s a problem here.”

After a month that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average drop 6% in value and the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lose 7%, Bob recommended getting back to basics. As he told the newspaper, investors need to remind themselves that earnings and interest rates ultimately drive stock prices over the long haul. And both earnings and interest rates suggest reasons for optimism for patient investors.

“Focus on fundamentals,” the Journal Sentinel quoted Bob. “Focus on why you’re being an investor. If you were a long-term investor in the spring, more than likely you’re a long-term investor now. So you don’t want to act inappropriately to short-term news and have that change your long-term plans.”

The report highlighted the Wisconsin Ticker, a monthly Journal Sentinel Business feature showing the top- and bottom-performing stocks issued by Wisconsin-based companies.

Landaas & Company provides the data for the Wisconsin Ticker, based on the value of hypothetical $1,000 investments made one-month and one-year earlier in each of 65 companies.

initially posted Oct. 20, 2011

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