"Focus past the distractions" by: John Sample

   The third quarter was a wild ride. Despite innumerable distractions the various indexes and averages will close out the third quarter near record highs.
   One should note though that the NASDAQ had the worst week in the last two months.
   This is a reflection of the Congressional scrutiny that many of the FANG stocks have undergone.
   It should also be noted that many recent Initial Public Offerings have dropped below the issue price.
   It is understandable that investors could be distracted with trade wars, impeachment inquiries, slow growth in Europe and unrest in the Middle East.
   The Wall of Worry is starting to look like the Great Wall in China. It is no wonder that there is so much capital in cash.
   That cash though can be the fuel for moving the market upward. 
   Investors are perplexed as to whether to run or jump on the train before it leaves the station.
   For value investors like me, the train left in 2008.
   The conundrum that some investors find themselves in is whether capturing dividend yield in a low interest rate environment is fool’s gold.
   Chasing yield can have the same consequences as investing solely to avoid taxes. 
   Investment should only be made in companies that have growing cash flow and excellent management.
   If that same company can pay a dividend out of the cash low, so much the better.
   Many times the highest yield is a direct result of a lower stock value due to poor earnings performance.    
   That problem can only be exacerbated by taking all of the cash low to pay the dividend.
   Be realistic never greedy.
   I am going to stick with my belief that a downturn in the economy will come after the elections next November and May push into 2021.
   Moreover, despite all the distractions, this market has shown great resolve and should have a good fourth quarter.
   The Gross Domestic Product or the third quarter May well be higher than projected helping the fourth quarter.
   I am not saying this is fun but it is no time to abandon ship just yet.

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