Quorum-Laurelhurst Seattle Real Estate Blog


Letter From Motley Fool in response to Lehman Brothers collapse
by Jenn Flynn
Because I think we all need this reminder….I am posting an email I recieved from Motley Fool…to stay calm.

Dear Fellow Fools,
This morning, markets around the globe dropped further, due in no small part to the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Fools, we understand that the current state of the financial markets and industry can be disconcerting. But please know that we, your advisors, are paying close attention to these events, and we spent much of the weekend analyzing the potential impact on our recommended companies. We encourage you to come to the discussion boards for your services for updates on the credit crisis and its effect on our companies.

More important, we ask you to remain calm. You may be tempted to act rashly, but please remember, this too shall pass.
Like every other financial crisis our markets have faced, this situation is part of the cycle that has allowed so many investors to generate great wealth in the markets. Warren Buffett and his teacher, Benjamin Graham, are right: Over time, the market is a weighing machine. Companies cannot make poor financial decisions without eventually having to deal with the consequences. By allowing the collapse of Lehman Brothers to happen, the federal government and industry giants have indirectly decided to allow the capitalist system to do its work. We believe this is a good thing; it is a statement of hope, and we believe you should embrace it.

During the next few days and weeks, the markets promise to be extremely volatile. The response from Wall Street and the financial press will range from euphoric to despondent, and much of the advice you hear will be emotional and short-term in focus.

We also recognize the very real risks in the market today. More companies are sure to struggle. But at the same time, we urge you not to panic or react in haste. If we retain our wits, we can’t help but make better decisions than the majority of investors.
History has shown that after virtually every sudden drop the market has experienced, it recovered within a few years. Case in point: Six months after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the S &P 500 had gained 17%, and six months after the lows of September 2001, it was up nearly 19%. Even if the rewards aren’t immediately obvious, in the long term, objective analysis of the opportunities and risks will prove superior to an emotional reaction.

Thank you for continuing to put your faith in us and The Motley Fool during these volatile times. We will continue to monitor these events and keep you apprised of our thinking in our issues and updates, on our websites, and most immediately on our discussion boards. To read our latest opinions on the situation and the impact on the companies on our scorecards, go to the Discuss tab of your newsletter website. We also encourage you to check Fool.com for regular commentary as the situation develops.

Foolish best,
David Gardner, Tom Gardner, Bill Mann, Seth Jayson, Jim Gillies, Andy Cross, James Early, Philip Durell, Ron Gross, Robert Brokamp, Amanda Kish, and Shannon Zimmerman
Posted 2008-09-15