If you obsess over the financial metrics of individual companies alone, you might get blown out of the water.
Ignore the macro at your peril.... individual company metrics that you rely on can become meaningless in a heartbeat.
(Many firms' metrics are already meaningless (in the financial sector especially) given that we can't trust the balance sheets and asset valuations... and as a result, any reported earnings are also suspect.
Real estate related portfolios I would also include in this group.
Not to say I don't use financial metrics myself, I just don't rely on them exclusively and ignore the bigger picture now.
The world is undergoing dramatic financial change and there are also changes occuring in terms of a shifting of financial power globally.
Currency exchange rates i.e. revaluations/devaluations, trade protectionism, nationalizations, spikes in interest rates, int'l geoplitics are all issues that are brewing and the sort of things I like to pay attention to when thinking about money.
Central bank activities including those that might happen at the back door a la Bernanke are also a concern.
The simple fact that Bernanke would have done such a thing in the recent past is also quite revealing.
The status quo doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell in continuing so I am looking to stay ahead of the curve.
not that I expect to be able to predict exact outcomes but dramatic change is in the wind and I'm hoping to avoid being completely blindsided.
GL to you if you think all will remain much the same.