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The main reason most people are better at real estate than stocks is because stocks are both intangible and highly liquid. Any second you can sell, so they always have a dollar value whereas a house value never has that visible red line when you're negative ... on top of that, sellers are more likely to walk and say 'they aren't offering me what its worth' while people generally don't think that way with stocks. With all the values out there, all the assets that major companies have to sell off and all of the fear keeping money out of stocks and sectors such as 'foreign' there are simply more a lot more sellers than buyers. As long as our companies don't go bankrupt, the market will stabilize, buyers will return, and even large companies will return from sell mode back to acquisition mode as liquidity is less of a problem.
Thats my thesis on the situation ... I really think with the right companies we can easily see 4 baggers in 2-3 years once the money floods back in the stock market. In my opinion a lot of the long term recovery will depend on what the next administration does, particularly because while recessions and bear markets always come & go, the biggest ones are typically the result of government bungling of economic policy in a misguided effort to help through drastic market intervention such as the US in the 1930's and 1970's, Japan in the 1990's and many other examples which are easy to find. Despite political disputes I have faith that certain countries like the US, China, Brazil, Chile, and others won't bungle things too bad - though the spread of ideas such as nationalization of industry, price freezes, excessive barriers to trade, excessive inflation/deflation and others will keep the economies of many countries in the dumps. We'll see what happens I suppose, we just need to keep reminding ourselves that the value of the stocks we own is still good even though its not estimated well in volatile bear market times.

-John T
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