Wow, what a start to the New Year.

It’s official – they tell us the first trading day was the worst in 84 years! The drums are already beating about how bad things will be all year given how bad they have started for 2016.

The news is dripping with “new” fears…but are they new?

Let’s Think Logically

Is it news that China is not growing as quickly as it was before? No. That has been happening for the last 15 months. It’s relative change is not dynamically different than many months ago.

In fact, the history books will likely tell us what we have stated for years – they were not growing as fast as perceived for quite some time. But…that is ok. As stated, a China growing at 3 to 5% is not a terrible thing.

North Korea unrest? Seriously? Anyone who has been around for the last 30 years knows that every few years this jackass does something to get paid off and ruffle everyone’s feathers. The good news? Think this: defense stocks are likely a solid support in the future.

Middle East unrest? One cannot be serious. Suggesting “unrest in the middle east” is somehow a new piece of information to inflame our growth going forward is well…lunacy.

The Problem?

Markets are not logical. Market participants are not logical. Market action – very, very often – is not logical in the near-term.

Things like these headlines below which I’ve read over the last 72 hours alone, as ugly as this year’s start has been, are an example of the shenanigan’s at work:

“Five Black Swans Affecting Our Future” (no longer one – they now come in flocks apparently)

“It IS 2008 All Over Again”

“It’s Really a Bear Market This Time”

It makes my stomach convulse reading these crazy things at times. Not because of their content but because, after 33 years, I get a gut feeling for how the crowd will react to same.

And guess what? They are doing just that…selling first, thinking later, asking questions even later still.

That is not good investment planning for the long haul.

Nor does it account in any manner for how we need to be understanding the massive demographic waves coming our way which will be very beneficial.

This leaves us with a messy, emotionally-drive n, tired, gyration – moving from one fearful event to the next.

Let’s face it, it is easy to feel despair when all about us looks nutty.

To the above one can also add:

Commodity markets have been brutalized, especially oil.

High yield corporate bonds have tumbled.

The ISM manufacturing index in December fell to its lowest level in over six years.

Terrorists are sowing fear in Europe and the U.S. The

The U.S. economy remains mired in its “weakest recovery ever”.

A lack of confidence and burdensome tax rates have left business investment stagnant for the past four years despite record-setting profits.

Regulatory burdens are punishingly high.

And as a small night-cap, the Fed is raising rates despite tepid growth, a litany of troubling developments and very low inflation.

Here is the thing though as other logical people will tell you: The news is not all bad, and there are many reasons to think they economy will survive these problems as it has others before (e.g., the PIIGS crisis, bird flu, real estate end, etc etc etc).

How Does One Benefit?

As difficult as it may seem – and is at times – stop paying attention to the short-term events.

Expect emotions to run high and then understand this thing: Bull markets don’t end when everyone is still worried deeply about multiple black swans and they are fretting over every headline.

They end when no one frets over any headline…and nothing but blue skies are ahead…and most importantly, the masses are “all-in”.

We are prepping a video for review – will have it ready for consumption in a few days.

Until then, more notes are coming – and we need to really stay focused on when we start using some of that cash – when fear is most rampant.

Deals are delivered to the long-term investor when the world outside looks terrible.

Seriously…let’s stay focused: I fully acknowledge all the bad news out there, but the bad news has been around for a while, and most of it is priced in.

We agree with our friends at Calafia: The economy has been sluggish precisely because of this bad news, which has sapped confidence and kept investment weak.

If the news – and the policies – were to improve, we’d be seeing more confidence, more investment, and faster growth.

If nothing improves, the economy is likely to continue plodding along at a 2-2.5% growth rate.