To be a successful investor over the long-term, I'll quote from someone you may never have heard of, Warren Buffett. In his 2006 chairman's letter about qualities a successor to him should have, he says, "A single, big mistake could wipe out a long string of successes. We therefore need someone genetically programmed to recognize and avoid serious risks, including those never before encountered. Additionally, temperament……., independent thinking, emotional stability, and a keen understanding of both human and institutional behavior (are) vital to long-term investment success."

I hope these observations will be of some assistance to you young professionals.

Now for my longer term economic and financial market outlook.

I wish I could be optimistic but I just can't bring myself to it. Too much has unfolded during the past decade that dictates a far more cautious outlook, in my opinion. For the record, I've maintained this view since 2011, so some of you may think that I am unwilling to throw in the towel. You may be right but I don't think so.

Before commenting about the economy and financial markets, let me say this unequivocally, the fiscal and monetary policies implemented over the past fifteen years have been, in a word, terrible. They have led to a leveraging up of the financial system and have also incentivized excessive risk taking. Should these policies continue, I believe many will experience an exceedingly painful outcome that will cause severe damage to both their ego and their pocket book.

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