- December 1, 2011: Vol. 5, Number 11

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Certain Uncertainty : Volatility in the Markets Is Hurting Investor Sentiment, But You’ve Still Got to Plan for the Future

by Richard Fleming

John Lennon had it about right with the words of the song “How?” on his immortal Imaginealbum, released in 1971: “How can I go forward when I don’t know which way I’m facing? How can I go forward when I don’t know which way to turn? How can I go forward into something I’m not sure of? Oh no, oh no.” (These last sentiments are what I thought when I first heard Ozzy Osbourne’s 2010 tribute version of the song for Amnesty International on the occasion of what would have been Lennon’s 70th birthday, but it’s grown on me since.)

The uncertainty that is an endemic part of the subdued investment market activity at present — in all asset classes, even those regarded as relative safe havens — is due almost entirely to the euro zone sovereign debt crisis that is now also playing out into a banking crisis, a leadership crisis, a political crisis for the European Union and an economic crisis for the world.

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