We could not find any results for:
Make sure your spelling is correct or try broadening your search.

Trending Now


It looks like you aren't logged in.
Click the button below to log in and view your recent history.

Hot Features

Registration Strip Icon for pro Trade like a pro: Leverage real-time discussions and market-moving ideas to outperform.

There is always a macro-something to worry about – get over it

Share On Facebook
share on Linkedin

Right now people seem very worried about inflation, the cost of living crisis, central banks raising interest rates and banks going bust. Then there is the potential for escalating war in Ukraine or a new one around Taiwan. These are concerns, but they shouldn’t stop us from investing.


Sure, if war (or blockade) with China came to pass then we are in deep trouble, but history shows us that fear of this kind is ever-present, but the reality rarely comes to pass. For example, in the 1950s many people missed out on a rising equity market because they thought nuclear war was just around the corner or that a 1930s-style depression was to descend again.  And again in the 1960s.

As for the current economic travails, I see them as normal – just par for the course in a normal economic progression.

Around the turn of the year I was looking for signs of a third major economic mess-up (following Covid and then “transitory” inflation from over-stimulus), but as the weeks passed I noticed that the Holmesian dogs were not barking: unemployment was not rising much, if at all; not many companies were going bust; the wage-price “spiral” got stuck at around 5-6%, etc. Less a spiral, more a bit of a jump to a (temporary) plateau.

And now that gas and oil prices are dramatically down on a year ago we will see headline inflation fall way below core inflation – those headlines will ultimately bring down core inflation.

Peter Lynch once said there is “always something to worry about and the key organ in your body in the stock market is your stomach. It’s not the brain. If you can add 8 and 8 and get reasonably close to 16, that’s the only level of math you need to know. You don’t know to need the area under the curve. Remember that quadratic equation and integral calculus and the area under the curve? Whoever cared what was under the damn curve? But you had to study this. You don’t need this in the stock market. So, all you have to know is that it’s always going to be scary, there’s always going to be something to worry about. You just have to forget all about that”. (Peter Lynch 8 October 1994 Lecture to the National Press Club)

So what should you do instead of fretting over the macro-picture and the maths? “Cut it all out and own good companies” (Peter Lynch).

There you have it: understand good companies; ones that will survive, and even thrive, in normal macro vicissitudes.

Peter Lynch recalls from his lifetime of investing a few of the things Cassandras warned us about:

“ when oil went from $4 to $40 and it was going to go to $100 and we were going to have a depression? Well, about three years later, the same experts, now higher paid, oil is now at $10 and  they said it was headed for $4 and we’re going to have a depression……

…..And then the Japanese, remember how the Japanese were going to own the world, and we were going to have a depression? Remember that one? And then about two years later, we were all worried about Japan collapsing. This is the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard. This is a country with a 20% savings rate, incredible work force, incredible productivity, and people were saying we’re going to have a depression because Japan is going to collapse. You know, it’s unbelievable….

…The LDC {Lesser Developed Countries] debt. Remember the LDC debt? Remember that one? All these countries, Chase [Bank] had lent their net worth to Brazil, Chile, Peru and all these other countries. They were not going to pay it back and we were going to have a depression. It always ends in we’re going to have a depression, or the Great Depression, we’re going to have the Great Depression. I never could quite understand that adjective in front of Depression. The Great Depression or the Big One is coming”  (Peter Lynch 8 October 1994 Lecture to the National Press Club)

So, the general rule is keep being invested despite the macro worries. But only in companies you thorough understand, that have sound business models and managers and which are financially robust.

But remember all the while the adage “young people learn the rules; old people learn the exceptions”.  There will be one of two exceptions in the next decade or two when a macro-event is anticipated to be so big that you need to get ahead of the crowd and go ultra safe with your portfolio, say to 40% cash with the other 60% in particularly secure companies.

I hope you have a good financial advisor – or you are really keeping up with your reading – when those times come.

Professor Glen Arnold now offers a Managed Portfolio Service at Henry Spain Investment Services under which clients’ portfolios contain the same shares as his (write to

Risk Warnings: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Certain investments carry a higher degree of risk than others and are, therefore, unsuitable for some investors. The value of investments, and the income from them, can go down as well as up, and you may not recover the amount of your initial investment. Where an investment involves exposure to a foreign currency, changes in rates of exchange may cause the value of the investment, and the income from it, to go up or down. Opinions constitute our judgement as of this date and are subject to change without warning. Neither Henry Spain nor any connected company accepts responsibility for any direct or indirect or on sequential loss suffered by you or any other person as a result of your acting, or deciding not to act, in reliance upon any information contained in this Leaflet. Before contemplating any transaction, you should consider whether you require any advice from a financial adviser which we would be happy to provide.  The Managed Portfolio Service will be a fully advised process and advise charges will apply. This is a financial promotion. Henry Spain is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales No. 7118506. Registered Office: 49a High Street, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16 7AF

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR FREE ON ADVFN, the world's leading stocks and shares information website, provides the private investor with all the latest high-tech trading tools and includes live price data streaming, stock quotes and the option to access 'Level 2' data on all of the world's key exchanges (LSE, NYSE, NASDAQ, Euronext etc).

This area of the site is for independent financial commentary. These blogs are provided by independent authors via a common carrier platform and do not represent the opinions of ADVFN Plc. ADVFN Plc does not monitor, approve, endorse or exert editorial control over these articles and does not therefore accept responsibility for or make any warranties in connection with or recommend that you or any third party rely on such information. The information available at is for your general information and use and is not intended to address your particular requirements. In particular, the information does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by ADVFN.COM and is not intended to be relied upon by users in making (or refraining from making) any investment decisions. Authors may or may not have positions in stocks that they are discussing but it should be considered very likely that their opinions are aligned with their trading and that they hold positions in companies, forex, commodities and other instruments they discuss.

Leave A Reply

Do you want to write for our Newspaper? Get in touch: