Some category of people does not accept that cycle is unpredictable and largely unknowable, and those people put efforts for predicting the future. Few people ignore the cycle and adopt the buy & hold approach. They do not get aggressive or defensive with their investments in the cycle. Many people have wrongly understood the statement of Mr. Warren Buffett – “Our favorite holding period is forever.”
And the last category which is an appropriate approach for the investment. Such category of people accepts that cycle will occur. Everything moves in a cycle. Fundamental, psychology, prices, etc all moves in a cycle. We cannot able to know when existing trend will go, get the stop and start getting reversed. But we need to be confident enough that trend will stop sooner or later. No trend continuously keeps on going forever.
So that we should try to know where we are standing in the cycle rather than to predict timing and extension of the cycle.
By knowing where we are standing at the cycle, we cannot able to know what will be going to happen in the coming future. But we can prepare ourselves with a probability of occurrence of events.
I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. – Jimmy Dean
Knowing present environment is not much hard compared to knowing future. We can come to know the present environment by observing the behaviour of participants around us, by observing our surrounding environment.
We have to focus on everyday events prevailing to the market. Such events provide us a rough idea of our position at the cycle.
When everyone is aggressive in buying a particular asset then we must have to take care and be aware of the upcoming risk. We should be aggressive in buying a particular asset while everyone is in panic and selling particular assets.
“Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful” ― Warren Buffett
We have to look around and think it by ourselves regarding present situations and make a decision that where we are standing in the cycle. What is market participants doing? What media is talking? Such questions need to be answered by looking at situations around us.
When too much money getting deployed into few assets then huge liquidity drives prices of an asset, such price momentum is not due to its actual fundamental. And also at the higher valuation people are ready to buy an asset aggressively. People are ready to buy Rs.100 worth of asset at Rs.200-300-400…. With the bright future expectations.
We cannot predict when huge liquidity gets dry but as a contrarian investor, we can prepare ourselves for upcoming risk.
We need to check which side majority of our answers falls and as per it, we can make an estimation of the present situation. And can able to prepare ourselves for the situations. When a majority of our answers falls at the happy situation then we have to be cautious towards the present scenario and vice-versa.
Read for more detail: The Most Important Thing Illuminated by Howard Marks