Easy Street

Philosophy of Wall Street: Putting the Market In Its Place

Heidi Moore Aug 12, 2011

Philosophy of Wall Street is an occasional feature that will include interesting, 30,000-foot views from Wall Streeters that I talk with.

Today I interviewed John Hailer, the president of Natixis Asset Management. I asked him what he thought of the markets this week and the focus on the stock market. He said, and I agree, that there is entirely too much focus on daily stock prices. Here’s what caught my ear:

I don’t think the stock market is an indicator of the U.S. economy or even the global economy. I think it’s an indicator of people buying and selling and trading stocks….we have to get back to looking at the long term, not just in investing but in the corporate world. I mean, we have corporate CEOs looking at their stock prices on a daily basis, and on a quarterly basis. How do you build a company that way? You can’t.

We have to start looking at long-term sustainable value, and that’s what’s lacking right now. It’s really about: what’s your long-term investment horizon? What are the long-term goals of your portfolio? You can look at the stock market as fun news, but you can’t worry about it every day. It’s kind of like the baseball season. How many games do they play every day? So don’t get worked up in April.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.