President Obama is beginning to sound like legendary investor Warren Buffett, who was one of his campaign advisers.
Stock prices at current levels may represent bargains for long-term investors, the president said at a White House news conference.
Stocks fell to 12-year lows this week and the S&P 500 Index traded at its lowest price-to-earnings ratio (12.2 based on trailing 10-year earnings) since 1986.
“What you’re now seeing is profit and earnings ratios are starting to get to the point where buying stocks is a potentially good deal, if you’ve got a long-term perspective on it,” Obama said while meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown about battling the global recession.
The S&P 500 has plunged 23 percent this year after a 38 percent decline in 2008 that was the biggest annual loss since 1937.
Obama says day-to-day moves in the market don’t represent a major focus for him. He compares daily market fluctuations to tracking polls in politics and said he wouldn’t direct his policies just to meet daily market expectations.
“If you spend all your time worrying about that, then you’re probably going to get the long-term strategy wrong,” he says.
Many experts agree.
“Whether you agree with how he’s going about it or not, he’s trying to help confidence,” Bill Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Wealth Management, tells Bloomberg, referring to Obama’s comments.
“Certainly a piece of the confidence is to get the market stabilized.”
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