Is The Time Back To Market? What Is The Return?

It should be remembered that greed always sells. Rationality or rational behavior does not sell. A harsh reality today is that getting wealthy in real terms is not as easy as it used to be.  It could take as long as five years for asset managers around the world to recoup the US$ 10 trillion they lost in 2008 at the height of the financial crisis, according to a timely report by Boston-based research firm Cerulli. It took the industry three years to generate more than USS 10 trillion between 2005 and 2008, and only six months to lose it all, the report said.

To some poor investors, the markets actually started to crack in early 2008 and then “changed” rapidly in the second half of 2008. But then you thought had a good, solid mutual or unit trust fund managed by a big institution with other great products printed on their glossy brochure. The equity fund you bought at the peak in the previous Bull Run was a solid investment you thought it could do no wrong.


Well, you thought you did everything right and you subscribed the popular buy-and-hold mentality. You didn’t believe that the buy and hold mentality benefits the fund institutions that manage the assets and the sales agents more than you. So the expert who is paid to take care of your investment failed to spot the downside despite all the red flags because he or she was stuck comfortably in the world of decoupling and you watched the fund slide into darkness, even buying more units on the way down to average down your losses.

When the dust finally settled for a while and even with the dead cat bounce you have seen so far, you are still stuck with about 30% losses and part of it belongs to your retirement funds. Suddenly, even your private banker who had lost all the credibility isn’t as confident or brash as he normally is. Your financial planner has also been avoiding you.

You have learned that you need several disciplines in place to improve your long term investing performance. Managing downside risk is one important trick to learn. You have realized that you need to be truly diversified by investing in different asset classes such as equities, commodities and currencies on the planet using different investment styles.

More importantly, you have realized that getting the big picture right is critical. How do you diversify when all asset classes are moving, in tandem? This was a key many faced at the height of the financial crisis in 2008, when all asset classes were collapsing together, but is a concern that remains today whether we like it or not.

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Any of our clients who have benefited from our valuable advisory services over the years will tell you that we have long held concerns over the increased tendency for the values of different asset classes to move up or down) in the same direction at the same time regardless of all the beautiful fundamental stories hyped by the shill in the brokerage industry.

We never subscribe totally to long-only or traditional investment positions for our client investment strategy. We know from past experience that alternative investment strategies with low correlation equities and bonds can add tremendous value to any investment portfolio ranging from conservative to aggressive (different investors have different risk tolerances, investment horizons, etc).

Many geniuses in town have continued with play down the role of alternative investments as a true diversifier for any global portfolio at any time to the extent of labeling them as purely speculative.

Client interests should always come first d we have no choice but to grow up. Local investors on the street have been brainwashed for decades that the stock market and traditional investment vehicles are the only realistic ways to build wealth. To invest all your wealth in the stock market either directly or indirectly, that is foolishness, in my view.

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I know that there is still a lot of skepticism about the alternative stuff mainly due to lack of exposure. To some institutions that are a little behind the curve, alternative investments should not be viewed as pure imams and a threat to their traditional business models.

The recent global stock rebound was just another dead cat bounce. Never believe in everything that is written here. You should have your own sense of the markets and your own opinions oldie kinds of opportunities you’re looking for. To the mind of this financial writer, global stock markets will chart new lows over the coming months. This is based on our own work. I’m far for being perfect and I may not be right about everything, but I’m willing to hold and defend my independent view.

To some traders, markets have continued to move mysteriously. At the time of writing this missive, the stock markets have continued to deteriorate technically. However, China seems to be an exception in this – for now. I could offer all sorts of other predictions, but what’s the point.

Investors should always look through a different lens, and ask if there’s anything positive we can take away from another round of turmoil? As for long-only equity strategy, it’s not all gloom. Selectivity is going to be important. Are profits guaranteed? Of course not!

In the financial game, there are always the markets are heading next as our usual game plan is to be able to make money regardless of economic and market conditions at various risk levels. I think that the next few weeks and months will not only be very interesting, but also very important. Patience is a virtue as markets could remain trapped in a trading range for weeks before the next big move.

So what? Although action by governments around the world has ensured that the global economy will stay in business, the reality is markets and environments will continue to surprise you on the downside and the upside.

Warren Buffet is famously quoted as saying, “Only when the tide runs out do you see who’s been swimming naked.” It is always better to anticipate risks than to ignore them. Informed caution is our area of expertise and our strong absolute performance in 2008 is a testimony of our hard work.

Is The Time Back To Market? What Is The Return?
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