Sunday, June 30, 2013

Still Waiting....

After a 9 month rally: finally a pullback! Due to the Fed's comments on 'tapering'.  And something about China.

My gut feeling is that this will probably be a 10-20% correction.  Don't think we reached the euphoria seen at the end of a bull market.  Maybe we get a *real* bear 1 or 2 years later.

We are also in the twelfth year of a secular bear market, which usually last 12-18 years.  I must consider the possibility, however wrong it feels, that the secular bear is over, and its 1982 again.

And there is the possibility that the market 'corrects sideways' for a long period, without giving me a big crash.

I am changing my investment strategy a little to account for the unknowns.  Using the S&P 500 as a yardstick, but in steps all the way down:
  a) Wait for a 15% decline (for now: S&P 1434), if it occurs, move up to 20% invested.  15% declines happen once every few years.
  b) If a further 15% decline occurs, move up to 60 % invested.  These 30% declines are rare.
  c) If a further 10% decline, go to 100%.

Nothing magical about these numbers, just a way to get *slowly* get into the market.  After a 3 year bull market, be very slow and careful.  I'll still probably be mostly in cash for the next few years.

What to buy?  Looking at the US and European stocks (multinationals), everything is expensive - PEs in the high teens (and these are not trough earnings).  The Singapore market is similarly expensive, but there are a *few* decent companies trading in the low teens.

Wait to see if the correction continues.  The S&P is retesting its trend line and moving averages.