The Access Economics report published yesterday paints a reasonably bleak picture of what's in store for the economy in 2009. However, not all commentators / analysts / experts have come to the same conclusion.
An expert I like to keep an eye on is Jeremy Siegel, a Professor of Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is also well known for his research into long-term stock and bond returns, as published in his best selling book Stocks for the Long Run. A profile of Professor Siegel can be found at Yahoo Finance.
Professor Siegel writes a regular commentary piece for Yahoo Finance. His latest piece - 2009: A Much Better Year - provides quite an optmistic outlook for the year ahead. He, like other commentators, is hesitant about making an outright prediction as he has been badly burnt by previous attempts, but his suggestion about 20% or higher returns for the year is something to contemplate.
Do we believe that his forecast will be correct?
It is difficult to say. What we do know is that there are a range of viewpoints about the year ahead. Some absolute doomsday predictions while others in present conditions seem overly optimistic. For me this suggests that nobody really knows for sure. The best strategy therefore is to keep to your long term plan. Don't go selling out of growth asset positions. If you can afford to be buying regularly over time through dollar cost averaging or value averaging over the next few years then this is well worth consideration to protect against buying today and seeing the market fall further over future days and months.