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Todd Harrison: The upside of downturns



To get through it, we have to go through it.

There is a lot of talk lately that investors have checked out of the stock market. That, after 12 years of booms and busts that punished investors at the top and screwed savers at the bottom, they've lost faith in the system. Bond king Bill Gross actually proclaimed the death of equities last week.

Minyanville forecast the housing crash in 2006, spied a "prolonged period of socioeconomic malaise entirely more depressing than a recession," warned of class warfare and posited the financial industry was "technically insolvent" in 2007, and pointed to the sovereign sequel to the first phase of the 2010 financial crisis.

We rarely mention such things because, quite honestly, nobody cares; people don't want to hear about who was right, they want to be informed about what comes next - how to prepare, prosper and stay ahead of the curve. The simple truth is that nobody knows the future; there are no pundits and each of us is responsible for our own decisions.

I believe we're in the middle innings of a cleansing that is healthy through a long-term lens. It will be a prolonged process - one that might take a few years - but in order to get through it we needed to go through it and we're going through it now. That's a good thing; it beats the pants off the blind ambition of our last, lost decade.

Look at it this way: A forest fire is scary and dangerous yet necessary for a fertile re-birthing. History will view this stretch through a similar lens; the leaders who emerge from this crisis won't be the same as those who entered it and the greatest opportunities will be born from the most profound obstacles.

Todd Harrison is founder and CEO of Minyanville. 

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