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Quotes of the Week

March 1, 1999

After eight years of economic expansion, the economy appears stretched in a number of dimensions, implying considerable upside and downside risks to the economic outlook. The robust increase of production has been using up our nation's spare labor resources, suggesting that recent strong growth in spending cannot continue without a pickup in inflation unless labor productivity growth increases significantly further. Equity prices are high enough to raise questions about whether shares are overvalued. The debt of the household and business sectors has mounted, as has the external debt of the country as a whole, reflecting the deepening current account deficit. We remain vulnerable to rapidly changing conditions overseas, which, as we saw last summer, can be transmitted to U.S. markets quickly and traumatically.
Alan Greenspan in Testimony to Congress (2/23/99)

The one great secret of investment success is that there is no secret. My judgment and my long experience have persuaded me that complex investment strategies are, finally, doomed to failure. Investment success, it turns out, lies in simplicity as basic as the virtues of thrift, independence of thought, financial discipline, realistic expectations, and common sense.
John C. Bogle in The Clash of the Cultures in Investing: Complexity vs. Simplicity (speech at the 2/3/99 MoneyShow - posted on the Vanguard web site on 2/23/99)

The web has rapidly established itself as an effective means for investors to manage their portfolios, research investments and trade securities. At the same time, individuals have been taking greater control of their investments by directly researching information on investments, tracking their portfolios, purchasing no-load mutual funds and playing a more proactive role in their relationships with financial advisors. The web has facilitated these behavioral shifts by providing investors with easy access to information that was once generally available only to investment professionals, such as timely market news, intra-day and historical quotes, charts, SEC filings and analysts' earnings estimates.
Excerpt from thestreet.com's IPO Prospectus (2/23/99)

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