And I mean a time horizon on anything -- investing, attention span, life.
If you "trade" -- and you probably shouldn't be doing that unless you have a true statistical edge -- I guess what happens in Washington or in a quarter or two matters. (Then again, if you have an "edge" it has nothing to do with real-life events. It's all about the chart.)
A view beyond the previous and next three months -- one that takes the long-term prospects, strategic-competitive position and vision of a company into account -- renders some stocks virtually untouchable until the dust settles.You can certainly make money trading pops in names such as BBY, Research in Motion (BBRY - Get Report) and RadioShack (RSH), but, if you get tempted by high risk/big reward too often, there's a good chance you'll blow up your account. Of course, most people do, and probably should, reserve a portion of their portfolio to speculate on turnarounds and perceived value plays. Just not a good core strategy for most investors. That's why I chide Wall Street analysts who beat the drum for broken companies on a good quarter or two. That's what we saw last week with Best Buy. As I articulated ahead of earnings, even if they fail on different timelines, the culture of obviousness will lead Best Buy and JCPenney (JCP - Get Report) to horrible deaths.