The panic driven declines in worldwide stock markets have been remarkable. Deciding whether to join the panic and sell, or hold firm, or buy in now is very difficult. In general trying to time the stock market is difficult and not something many have succeeded trying to do. When I look at the long term values of individual stocks I see plenty that seem like bargains to me. Of course I have no idea if they will be greater bargains in a week, a month or a year. And I could easily be wrong that they are bargains at all.
Still I have bought some Google (GOOG), Templeton Dragon Fund (TDF), Toyota (TM) and ATP Oil (ATPG). The first three I am happy to buy and hold for 10 years (and actually there is a greater than 90% chance I will hold the shares I have now own 10 years from now). The fourth one is fairly speculative, we will see how it goes. I did sell one stock, not because I think it is overvalued but because I liked what I could buy if I sold it (the price had held up well so relatively I could trade it for more shares of what I wanted today than I could have a month or 6 months… ago) – Comtech Telecommunications (CMTL). Often those stocks that hold up well in declines are very strong and do very well once the market corrects, so this could well turn out to be a mistake.
Trying to time when things have hit bottom is very difficult. So I am not trying to do that. I did not invest all my cash now, and will be adding to my positions over the next year (most likely). I have been fortunately that I have been saving up cash and not buying into the market much (I wasn’t smart enough to sell though, and my retirement accounts were still going into stock funds primarily). I am guessing the declining prospects (due to the worsening economy) on the stocks I am buying have been more than offset by the declining stock prices. Only time will tell whether that was a profitable move or not.