Old-School Conviction Is Coming Back

 | Mar 28, 2013 | 7:35 PM EDT  | Comments
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Stock quotes in this article:

jnj

,

bmy

,

shld

,

pcln

,

amzn

You have to marvel at what just transpired this quarter. This was the single most triumphant quarter for so many different kinds of stocks that I can recall since the 1990s.

And yet when I read and listen, it is the same old, same old -- cautious bulls, worried about Europe, worried about China, worried about sequestration, worried about earnings, worried about Washington.

You can truly say that the last 13 years really did a number on us. In fact, the only time I can recall hearing someone say, "Look, I like these stocks and they must be bought" was today on "Halftime Report," when Laszlo Birinyi just told it like it is and rattled off Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Priceline.com (PCLN), Amazon (AMZN), Sears Holdings (SHLD) and a couple of others and said these are going higher. What happened to people like Birinyi? What happened to people with conviction? How did everyone decide that what matters is Slovenia or the chart or Washington or any host of things other than the company?

Tonight I had the good fortune to interview Fred Hassan, who just penned Reinvent, a book that was spawned by the hard lessons of the man who had turned around more businesses successfully than anyone alive. We talked about the importance of leadership, of culture, of the CEO and how much the CEO can mean to the stock price. Between Hassan and Birinyi, I felt totally old school. Otherwise it's all about risk-on, record-high territory, BlackBerry (BBRY) and Apple (AAPL).

Let this quarter be a lesson. The times, they have a changed. Old school is coming back. Stocks matter. CEOs matter. Slovenia?

It only matters as to how to get a better price for Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY).

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