If anyone claims to have the answer to this question, they really don’t know what they are saying because the truth is nobody knows. So the best thing to do is to objectively assess what is going on, to invest responsibly and be patient.
This past week has been another rollercoaster with the US markets rallying more than 13% as you can see from the $SPY (an ETF which reproduces the SP500 index), however the #volatility has not moved much, with a weekly reduction of just over 1% (see $VXX the ETF which reproduces the VIX). This means that it is too early to call the bottom in my opinion.
All investors who are predominantly long are obviously pleased to see this week’s jump, don’t get me wrong, but there are many examples of rallies which have followed large drops. Look at what happened during the 2008 crisis for example, there were 6 positive jumps between +9 and +19% on the way down. Before the market finally bottomed in Q1 2009 the volatility was greater than 30.
So what can investors do in the meantime ? Be patient and take one day at a time. As I have a long term horizon and the market has already dropped a lot, I did do some nibbling this past week, focusing on dividend payers with a good valuation such as $BMY, but I still have a large cash position overall as I don’t reckon it is time to go all in yet.
I have also increased my hedges, by upping my position on a double inverse SP500 by 50%. One might ask, why enter or increase a long position on a stock while at the same time increasing a short position ? The answer lies in the time horizon, once again. I invest long when there is upside potential in the long term (most of the times), whereas I introduce hedges when markets are volatile, therefore in the short term. If there is another drop next week, my loss will be reduced; if it goes up again, I will gain less but hedges are typically a smaller percentage of one’s portfolio so the loss is limited. In fact, I wish I could always lose on my hedges !!!
If you are interested in seeing what additional stocks I might get long on when the conditions are right, please keep reading my weekend updates !
Stay safe everyone and invest responsibly.