chart: Beyond the Horizon

(revised with recent data; EPS graphs update)

Beyond the Horizon

Earnings have increased at double-digit growth rates for five consecutive years — it’s beyond almost everyone’s foreseeable horizon that earnings might soon experience a decline. Despite the statistics about average earnings growth, the business cycle drives periods of surge and stall. This analysis explores the earnings growth cycle, the profit margin cycle, and then translates the outlook into specific implications for returns over the next decade. As an analogy, winter is not a time for farmers to hibernate; rather it’s a period to approach crops differently. Today’s investors have so many tools and techniques available to them to actively “row” and invest like institutions, thereby seeking relatively consistent returns with a lot less risk of disappointment.