This first quarter of 2012 proved to be an incredible one for investors. Although, just before the start of the quarter the sentiment wasn’t overly optimistic. “Buckle up!” warned Barron’s magazine in December. “For investors frightened by the stock market’s volatility in the past six months and tired of worrying about places in Europe once given little thought, 2012 promises scant comfort—at least in the first half.”
Through the beginning of the quarter, the S&P 500 was up 9%, the best start since 1991 and returned the index to the levels of June 2008, before the Lehman debacle. What’s the point, you may ask? The point is to remember the virtues of discipline, the benefits of a long-term outlook and our natural tendency as investors to let fear and greed drive our decisions.