A Time for Things

You don’t normally have dinner at breakfast time, do you?

Of course not.

Similarly, you don’t buy into a State Bank of India with a 5 year horizon when 6 years of earnings growth has already been factored into the price.

There’s a time for things.

You do buy into the same State Bank of India with a 2 week horizon when it’s shooting off the table and giving clear-cut up-moves as it makes its way into no-resistance territory.

And that’s about it. You’re in it for the short-term because that’s how the environment has defined itself. It’s a trading environment, not really meant for investors, whether conservative or unconservative. Thus, you have a stop-loss mechanism in place, in case there’s a down-swing, because up-moves can go hand in hand with down-moves. Where there’s a big money to be made, there’s chances of making a big loss too.

Oh, are you asking why you can’t enter into such stocks at this time with a long-term perspective? I see. Do you fly first class? No? Why not? Because it’s expensive, right? Similarly, such stocks are expensive just now. That’s not to say they won’t rise further. What you need to understand is that when you wake up five years from now, such a stock will have peaked and could possibly be heading for its trough. So your net returns over the long-term could even be negative.

Really wanna be a successful investor? Then you need to learn to buy cheap, with a margin of safety. You need to be patient enough to wait for lucrative entry levels.

Not getting your margins of safety anywhere in the markets just now?

Ok, just trade till you get them. Then you can stop trading, and start investing. Fine?