Making Money While Being Wrong

by | Jan 4, 2021 | General

A year full of worries, and great returns for stock investors

Last June we sent out an email entitled: “No More Lockdowns” (attached). Six months later it’s obvious that our prediction was wrong. In spite of that Dock Street clients enjoyed one of the best years in decades.

Here’s the lesson we take from this: Being right about the investments we own is more important than getting the big picture right. The companies we owned this year were perfectly positioned for the government driven lockdowns of 2020, but preparing for a pandemic was the last thing on our minds when we bought these stocks years ago. 

2020 proved that the stock market is only loosely tied to politics and the economy, the two subjects that dominate the daily news flow. Investors who followed that worrisome flow and sold at any time during the year missed an 18% gain in the S&P 500—double the average year.

Of course the pandemic and the resulting lockdowns were far from the only issue that could worry investors in 2020. The George Floyd inspired demonstrations resulted in the most violent summer since the 1960’s, while the election appeared so momentous that many investors sold fearing the outcome. (Questions about the election dominated clients’ calls this autumn)

While there was plenty to worry about in 2020, our research into the individual companies in our portfolios revealed little worry about in the long run. That’s why we could be so spectacularly wrong in June about the biggest economic story of the year, while producing very favorable investment results.

Here’s an idea we like from Charlie Bilello, a smart guy we follow on Twitter: “The Media’s job is to entertain, your job is to ignore them.” 

Best regards,

Daniel A. Ogden


Dock Street Asset Management, Inc. is an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. You should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this letter serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Dock Street Asset Management, Inc.

It is published solely for informational purposes and is not to be construed as a solicitation nor does it constitute advice, investment or otherwise.

To the extent that a reader has questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to their individual situation, they are encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of their choosing.

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Our comments are an expression of opinion. While we believe our statements to be true, they always depend on the reliability of our own credible sources. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns.