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The Downturn Opportunity

I serve on the board of a Christian parachurch organization, and at the last meeting, we were looking at some pretty gloomy financial numbers. The downturn in the stock market had done some major damage to our cash reserves.

This was in stark contrast to meetings just a year earlier. Only months before we were eagerly making plans based on the robust earnings from our investments. We were excitedly talking about ways we could expand our ministry and reach new groups with the gospel, thanks to the unexpected windfall from the returns our reserves had produced.

As our funds manager made his report, one of the veteran board members said, "The difference between a good manager and a bad manager is seen not in how much you make in the good times—it's how well you manage in the bad times."

No, during a bear market you won't see gaudy double-digit returns, but a good manager will keep you from losing your shirt. And maybe, with a keen sense of anticipation, you can avoid losses altogether.

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