October 2008 Investment Strategy

September 2008 will be long remembered as a watershed moment in which the course of financial market history changed dramatically. With so many stunning and significant events occurring in such a short time, many people feel compelled to do something, anything, to react to what is happening around them. However, in the words of John Bogle, founder and former CEO of the Vanguard Group, “Time is your friend; impulse is your enemy.” With that in mind, now is a good time to reflect upon recent events. First, was the September 7 government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Eight days later on September 15 we awoke to news of the bankruptcy filing of Lehman Brothers and the announced acquisition of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America. Two days later, on September 17, the government intervened to save American International Group from imminent failure. Just a week after AIG, we witnessed the largest bank failure in U.S. history with the government takeover of Washington Mutual. Finally, on September 29, we saw the government’s proposed sale of Wachovia’s banking assets to Citigroup that required government assistance to complete.

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