Economist Takes Contrarian View on Investing

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Recently Kevin Price, Host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business Show, interviewed Dr. Tenpao Lee.

Recently, Host Kevin Price visited with Dr. Tenpao Lee of Niagara University.
Dr. Tenpao Lee, economist and professor emeritus at Niagara University, believes the current stock market, at a recent low due to the pandemic and inflation/supply chain issues, presents an excellent opportunity for new investors.

While Dr. Lee is not recommending that anyone who is not a Wall Street professional pick and choose individual stocks, he does believe the time is right for mutual fund investing, particularly index funds.

“From an historic perspective, only 25% of professional mutual fund managers are able to consistently beat the stock market as measured by the S&P 500 index,” said Dr. Lee. He quotes investment guru Warren Buffet who has long recommended ordinary investors stick with index funds.

“These funds consistently beat the market index in one-year, five-year, and ten-year categories. If you can do that, you should be extremely happy and proud of yourself,” said Dr. Lee.

The index performance is measured for individual calendar years. For example, in 2021, the S&P 500 index was up by 26.89%. For 2022, in the first three weeks of January, the S&P 500 index declined by 7.73%.

Therefore, said Dr. Lee, “if you invest your money in an index fund now, you will beat the index for as long as you stay in the market. Future performance will reap rewards, whether the market is up or down. Even the smallest investors will benefit.”

“For investors who can afford to be in the market for a long time to come, such as young professionals, a down market offers the chance for you to build a portfolio that will help you throughout your life and into retirement,” said Dr. Lee.

The economist notes that the stock market has not had a negative rate of return in any 15-year period in the last 52 years – from 1970 to 2021. Specifically, in that timeframe, there were only seven years when the market declined more than 10% (a 13.46% chance), five years when it declined less than 10% (a 9.62% chance). Conversely, there were 11 years when there was a rise less than 10% (a 21.15% chance), and there were 29 years when the market rose 10% or more (a 55.77% chance).

In other words, in that 52-year timeframe, the market was positive for 39 years, or 76.92% in any given year.

Since the Industrial Revolution more than 300 years ago, the economy and the stock market have grown continuously, mostly due to technological developments.

“Right now, we have new technologies in the pipeline, such as 5G, artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, robotic process automation, edge computing, clean energy, etc. The overall trend did not change and will always be positive, with fluctuations. For long term investors, this dip in the market, like all the others, presents an opportunity,” said Dr. Lee.


The Price of Business is one of the longest running shows of its kind in the country and is in markets coast to coast. The Host, Kevin Price, is a multi-award winning author, broadcast journalist, and syndicated columnist. Learn more about the show and its digital partners at (scroll down to the bottom of the page).

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