Fisher: Think Globally — and Be Careful on Gold

Money manager and Forbes columnist Kenneth Fisher says we are in the early stages of a bull market led by foreign and emerging markets — and that investors should be very careful when it comes to buying up gold.

In an interview with Wallace Forbes on Forbes.com, Fisher says that many make the mistake of being too U.S.-centric when looking at growth. “We’re at a point where it’s the emerging markets world with an emergent, vibrant middle class that’s growing at a fairly rapid rate that’s pulling us along faster than we would otherwise,” he says. “Whenever we’ve had a huge bear market decline and then a positive 12 months, the subsequent 12 months after that have almost always been nicely positive. So my view is that history’s telling us, with the non-U.S. world pulling us along, we’re probably going to have a positive year in 2010.”

As for gold, Fisher says bullion has indeed produced solid, single-digit returns since Bretton Woods. But, he notes, “that’s all come from six very brief periods, the longest and the biggest one of which is the most recent one, the most recent few years. … If you take those few periods out, those few periods total only 15% of modern history. The other 85% of that history it actually lost money, and at a 3.6% average annual rate.”

Fisher says that he’s not a good enough timer to know what that means for those buying up gold right now. “But,” he adds, “I think probably most people probably aren’t good enough timers.”

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