So, were finally here. Its been 16years since thelast great stock bull market.
1999 was characterised by a euphoric boom in shares. The end of the second millennium was, more than just symbolically, a farewell to a past full of war, anger and disappointment. We were welcoming the future. But perhaps, with hindsight,it was too naive a future.
Investing in shares has beentough
The clever ones havent touched stocks since the turn of the century. Anything else was better. Think property, bonds, even building society savings accounts thatyield next-to-nothing. Theidea was whatever you do, dont go anywhere near equities.
Why? Because this was the bear market, and for anyone other than perhaps Neil Woodford and Warren Buffett, bear markets destroy value. The hot stock that youre sure will make a mint gets caught up in scandal and comes crashing down. The worthy, reliable blue chip youve bet the house onis suddenly swamped by competition and its profits crumble. In bear markets, theres nowhere to hide. At times, it can be brutal.
Now in 2016when we look to the futurewere a little more cautious and a little more chastened. Weve had 9/11. Weve had the Tech Crunch and the Credit Crunch. Weve had the Eurozone crisis and the collapse of Greece.
Hope seems to have hada battering and we spend much of our time looking over our shoulders, fearful of what will come next.
It will start to get easier
But let me tell you this theres never been more hope in the world.
Falling commodity prices androcketing global production mean that high quality goods and services have never been more plentiful. Rampant inflation is now consigned to the past in many markets and couldsoon be forgotten.
Asurge in emerging markets couldultimatelyliftnot just millions, but billions, out of poverty.
And the growing middle classes in countries such as Mexico and Indonesia are key too. They seem to be embarking on a consumer boom that could to my mind benefit businesses such asReckitt Benckiser,Diageo,GlaxoSmithKlineandARM.
Stock markets around the world, perhaps with the exception of the US, have been in the doldrums. I would expect them to trend upwards now.China and Indiawill lead the charge, as investors realise that these are the new engines of growth in the global economy. But the UK and Europe will be pulled along with them. So if you havent already, you should be buying into shares now, particularly emerging markets and funds such as JP Morgan Indian Investment Fund and Jupiter China.
A lot of people wont dareto do this, frightened by the wealth destruction of the past decade and a half. If youve summoned up the courage to buy into shares, its been a long road to get here, but your luck might just be starting to turn.
It’s not often that you find a fast-growing sharethat’sboth consistent, and has momentum. Yet our experts at the Fool have unearthed exactly that.
It’s a well-known company with a strong track record and an impressive growth rate. And we at the Fool think it would make a tidy addition to your portfolio.
Prabhat Sakya has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended ARM Holdings and GlaxoSmithKline. We Fools don’t all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.