Friday, March 06, 2009

Falling into the abyss

The holy sages certainly knew human nature well when they dedicated in the Book of Changes, a hexagram called Kan / The Abysmal on crisis and how to overcome it. Abysmal means bottomless or extremely bad. Abyss means bottomless chasm, deep gorge or primal chaos.

With the advent of science, there are similar bottomless pits out there in space, known as black holes. We now know that surrounding stars and the light are continuously sucked in by these black holes. (Think of the US and European financial and other institutions being bailed out or rescued.)

However scientists still do not know how deep these black holes in heaven are, not dissimilar to the top economists and well meaning strategists who really cannot fathom the depth of the current abyss in the global stock markets and the economies on earth.

Of course everyone has a right to make a best guesstimate and some do it for a living – fund managers, stock analysts, economists, advisers, fengshui masters and fortune tellers.

In these times of crises, if you want to rely on these professionals for your investments, make very sure you are following the right ones, and have deep pockets. Otherwise your good money could be sucked into black holes or you could quickly find yourself trapped and falling into an abyss with no end of the tunnel. And with no sight of the light too.

In the past, one has hinted about all these things – abyss, black hole, heaven falls, wrong calls of bottom(s), no recommendation of which fengshui masters’ predictions to follow this year, heavenly signs, asking regular readers to go into hiding and to return to the Light.

As I mentioned to my learned Daoist friend today, if no one wants to listen, tough. One is not going to reveal too much of heaven’s secrets and get seriously whacked again. At the very least, I am happy to know of some who listen.

The final cut could be when individual and institutional investors’ panic sell thinking the final hour of Armageddon has arrived.

That would be the real bottom of the abyss as defined by the ancients and the best of the best investment gurus in the past. Meanwhile we need to have a touch of patience.

But over the past decades, I have seen it many times before; no ‘follower’ is willing to budge when I ‘panic buy’ during actual stock market bottoms! And they lament afterwards.

There is nothing to blame, it is human nature. Seized by both fear and panic, only the very wise or foolish would dare to budge.

Just like the Way, opportunities during a crisis come and go. Time waits for no one.

If we missed them this time, we may have to wait for another lifetime for such opportunities to come along again.



Anonymous said...

Hi Allan,

You mentioned that no follower is willing to budge when you call for a 'panic' buy. Just to let you know that this is incorrect. I did take your advise when you wrote, "Free lunch for senior citizens!"

Only problem is I didn't know if you were ever going to call for a 'panic' sell or not. After all, you don't owe us anything to keep us informed. As such, I sold off way too early.

Anyway,thank you for your continous guidance. :)


Allan said...

Hi KP!

If my recollections are correct, over the decades, I have never asked ‘followers’ to panic sell. Cheerful retreats, yes – i.e. when share prices are still relatively high or rallying. But no panic sells.

‘Panic buys’ are usually reserved for special occasions when (almost) the entire world wants to sell on the occurrences of inauspicious omens foretold by the Yi. For example: Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, and 9/11.

But if we are not fully prepared (no money or cash, high leverage/margin) for such events, we could also panic sell along with the world! Then it may boil down to fate.