Political Dysfunction Remains Primary Risk
With 2012 drawing to a close, it is really difficult to believe that American politicians have yet to resolve the fiscal cliff. Just a few years ago my good friend Ian Bremmer of the Eurasia Group identified political risk as his greatest concern. Unfortunately, that’s even truer today.
Washington has become completely dysfunctional. In addition to the fiscal cliff, the country is once again coming close to the debt ceiling. A failure to resolve both issues could result in another round of credit rating downgrades. As bad as that sounds, it’s not clear what the consequences will be. The last time our credit rating was reduced, Treasury interest rates went even lower.
No doubt the dysfunction in Washington will cause increased volatility in stocks. To a large extent, retail investors have reduced their holdings of equities. The financial crisis of 2008 was so traumatic that many of them got out and stayed out. However, another round of heavy selling, if it occurs, should be viewed as an opportunity for long term investors to get back into the market.
Vahan Janjigian is Chief Investment Officer at Greenwich Wealth Management, LLC, a SEC Registered Investment Adviser, where he manages portfolios for clients in separate accounts. Dr. Janjigian is a former Forbes magazine columnist and former Editor of the Forbes Special Situation Survey. According to Hulbert Interactive, his stock picks returned more than 18% annually during one of the market’s worst 10-year periods.
Dr. Janjigian holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and has earned degrees in general sciences and finance from Villanova University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). He previously served on the faculties of several universities, including the University of Delaware, Northeastern University, the American University of Armenia, and Boston College, where he taught courses in corporate finance, financial theory, investments, accounting, and economics; and he currently teaches a seminar on equity investment management to business executives in Singapore through Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business. Dr. Janjigian has served as an expert witness on matters involving portfolio management, churning, suitability, and hedge fund manager compensation.
Dr. Janjigian has published his research in numerous scholarly and professional journals; and has been quoted in many leading newspapers and magazines, including Barron’s, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. He appears as a guest commentator on various television and radio networks, including Fox, CNBC, MSNBC, and CBS Radio. Dr. Janjigian is the author of Even Buffett Isn’t Perfect (published by Penguin) and co-author of The Forbes/CFA Institute Investment Course (published by Wiley).