"History doesn't repeat itself -- at best, it sometimes rhymes." -- Mark TwainI have been of the belief that history demonstrates that the world's leaders rise up at times of crisis. While history rhymes, I remain hopeful that 2012 will not rhyme with 2008. I hope we are not disappointed (again) this time. Fortunately, against this backdrop, investors' economic and market expectations are muted, and many classes of investors have de-risked. Valuations remain low and risk premiums remain high. Also, the fall in commodities (especially of an energy kind) remains a positive as does generational low interest rates in the U.S. Unfortunately, valuations fail as a timing tool, and one of the reasons behind lower commodities is reduced demand. Tactically (over the near term), I plan to continue to err on the side of conservatism in my trading and investing in a summer market likely characterized by choppiness and the absence of a trend.