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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Market Timing Anxiety

During the start of the year I had written about wanting to move to cash. Indian equity markets subsequently crashed and are staring down a possible decline to 5400 levels on the Nifty. I did move into cash but just in nick of time. The result is that my gains are lower than what could have been had I exited without hesitating like I did.

Now I am faced with exactly opposite conundrum. A lot of stocks have started hovering around the "buy" level. But the Nifty is still at 5600 level with still about 200+ point decline a distinct possibility. I am waiting with baited breath. But waiting has it anxious moments. The high volatility implies that market moves in dramatic fashion making it difficult to watch. There is no apparent reason (one that has materialized since beginning of 2011). 

At such moments the noise on TV and within research reports is further unnerving. Goldman Sachs recently revised the target price of few stocks down by 20-35% and still rates the stock buy. Some stocks are already above their revised target price. I don't know if research quality has declined to this extent or is it my nerves. 

The TV anchors are busy retrofitting explanations to the market movements. I read three on tueday. Half an hour after the RBI policy markets gave it a thumbs up, an hour later markets behaved as if they had already priced-in the rate hike and by end of day RBI rate hikes had caused catastrophic slide in Indian equity markets. I think reporting levels have dropped beyond redemption. It may make sense to free up the bandwidth these channels occupy.

Anyways, are you waiting too? And do you feel as anxious?