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What are investors to do in a downtrend?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I am a long only investor.  I do not short the market.  The blogmaster of Time to Huat has taken pains to explain to me that short sellers are necessary in the market. I understand the theory but I am still a long only investor.  Using CapitaMalls Asia as a case study, I am reminding myself of what I should be doing and hope that this post is useful to other like minded investors.

I stopped buying at supports upon realising that CapitaMalls Asia is in an obvious downtrend a while back.  Every single bullish reversal signal has failed so far. It cannot get more bearish than this.

I like the fundamentals of the company.  I like the fact that it is in a nett cash position.  Although as investors we want to exploit the discrepancy between price and value and buy undervalued stocks, we should do so when the time is right.  This is only possible when we combine FA with TA.

Buying at supports in an uptrend is the way to go.  When the trend is clearly down, what we should do is to wait and see if the next support level holds up.  We should look out for signs of a basing process.  CapitaMalls Asia is clearly still in decline and I would not add to my position in such an instance.  It has yet to start basing.

What we have to realise is that after suffering for more than a year, the tide has clearly turned in favour of the bears.  This might be momentary or prolonged.  It is futile to wonder how long this phase will last. What matters is to have the correct mentaility which is to stay pragmatic and not be too bullish or bearish.

TA tells us that a downtrend will invite short sellers.  Short sellers will come in and sell down stocks at resistance levels.  Every attempt the stock makes to rally would be cut down as selling at resistance caps gains and pushes down the price.  For long only investors, we should make use of such rallies to reduce exposure and preserve capital. Wait for that basing process and stronger signs of reversals before getting our feet wet again.




When CapitaMalls Asia started the day at $2.08, all hopes of a morning star setup went out the window. True enough, the counter went on to touch a low of $1.96 before closing at the round number $2.00. Another black candle day. MFI is still in the oversold region while OBV continues to decline.  MACD is pulling away downwards from the signal line. Using Fibo lines, we see the different support and resistance levels.

Short sellers also like margins of safety and if I were a short seller, a rebound in price to the 78.6% Fibo line ($2.13) or the 61.8% Fibo line ($2.19) would be salivating propositions.  Having been sold down relatively rapidly, a rebound to these levels is not impossible. After all, a bear market moves down a river of hope.

If I do reduce exposure in CapitaMalls Asia, this would be the second counter I am cutting loss on this year.  The first was China Hongxing which was rather recent as well. That was another case of failing reversal signals. Having conviction is different from being stubborn. The bears have left their caves and they will have their fun.

Charts in brief: 5 May 10.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010



Saizen REIT: FA is about value. TA is about price. Although this REIT is still severely undervalued, when negative sentiments rule, its price could get pushed down lower. My overnight buy queue at 16c was not done.  I am back in the queue.


For people who are hoping to make a quick buck, this might not be a good time to buy in. MFI has formed a lower low and OBV is down. MACD is under zero. All technicals are bearish except for a consistent picture of low volume pullback. If this counter tests the rising 200dMA at 15.5c, I would buy more.

AIMS AMP Capital Industrial REIT: Technically, this REIT is stronger than Saizen REIT.  MFI has formed higher lows and OBV has hardly declined.  The MACD is poised for a bearish crossover with the signal line though. The merged 50d and 100d MAs provide an important support at 21.5c and 23c remains the resistance.


CapitaMalls Asia:  Could this be a morning star setup? If the price opens above today's closing price of $2.08 and trades to close at or above $2.12 tomorrow, there is hope. The MFI is still in oversold territory but the decline has halted.  OBV is still declining and amidst the distribution activity, price managed form a white candle today.  This, I view as positive. In the event of a successful morning star setup, I expect initial resistance at $2.19.


SPH: Fourth consecutive black candle day. Black spinning top today. Looking at the MFI, we see that this counter was overbought for quite a while.  The index is now moving towards 50%.  50% on the MFI sometimes function as a support or resistance.  Together with the black spinning top today, which suggests indecision in a downtrend, we might see a rebound.  This is especially the case when price is now trading at the lower end of the Bollinger bands.


In the event of a rebound, the downturning 20dMA should provide a strong resistance.  This is at $4.04 now. The set up now might give rise to a morning star pattern just like for CapitaMalls Asia.  We will have to wait and see.  100dMA provides support at $3.79 and 200dMA provides support at $3.67 in the event of a further decline in price.

Golden Agriculture: MFI declines. OBV declines.  MACD has gone under zero. Overall, a bearish picture. The price managed to close at 55.5c, the support identified in previous TAs.  However, that this support was punctured today is a negative. If the 200dMA at 50.5c is tested, it has to hold.  If it does not, the uptrend is compromised. No prize for guessing where I am putting my buy queues.


Healthway Medical: Nothing much has changed apart from the fact that price touched a low of 14.5c today. 14c next? Possibly but the picture of low volume pullback is intact. We do not want to see the rising 200dMA breached.  This is currently just below 14c.  I might join the buy queue at 14c as a hedge.


FSL Trust: Heavy reduction in volume as price moved lower today to close at 52c. MFI has moved deeper into oversold territory.  OBV declined further. Another probable morning star setup. In the event of a reversal, strong resistance could be found at 60c.


I still see support at 51c in the event of a continuing decline. I bought some units today at 52c with a view that most of the heavy selling is done and over with.  Of course, I cannot say that the selling is over but any selling would probably be less vigorous from now on. The panic we see here approximate that of what was seen during the onset of the financial crisis in late 2008 and such panic, I believe, has to be overdone.

Courage Marine: Got my shares today at 20.5c and 20c.  MFI declining towards 50%. OBV declining. MACD moving towards zero and would probably go under. The best case scenario, technically, for this counter now is some sideway movement for some time to come, it would seem. What is left for me to do now is the easy part: hold.  Of course, I might buy more on any further weakness.


Related posts:
Charts in brief: 4 May 10.

Charts in brief: 4 May 10.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010



Courage Marine: Closed at 20.5c and I managed to get part of my overnight buy queue filled. In the buy queue again tomorrow. I am also in the queue to buy at 20c. Uptrend is still intact although weakened. The MACD is pulling away downwards from the signal line.  The weakness would probably continue.  I would draw attention to the volume.  It is shrinking with the weakening price.  A low volume pullback. Fundamentally, this is still one of the stronger shipping companies listed in Singapore.




CapitaMalls Asia: Sell signal on the MACD. Reversal hopes dashed. Reaching a low of $2.09 before closing at the round number of $2.10 suggests more weakness to come on an ugly black candle day. $2.07 is the next support.  I am not buying more for now.  I will wait and see if the subsequent support levels hold.  Buying at supports in an uptrend is the way to go but the downtrend here is clear.


Golden Agriculture: Went XD. Price closed at the 58c support.  Next support is at 55.5c. The MACD continues to move down and is approaching zero.  The MFI continues to decline below 50%, suggesting a lack of buying momentum. There is no heavy selling going on but continuing weakness seems likely.  This would likely put more stress on the current support level.


Healthway Medical: A picture of low volume pullback continues as price closed at 15c today. 138.2% Fibo is at 15c and the 150% Fibo approximates 15c.  This is a stronger support than 15.5c, surely.


MFI is creeping up in the oversold region which suggests that buying momentum is slowly improving.  OBV is slowly drifting down which suggests that there are people giving up and selling down the counter.  No big movement either way which suggests that slowly buying in as a hedge is quite safe.  The rising 200dMA is at 13.5c and this limits the downside risk.

Saizen REIT: MFI dipped further into oversold territory. OBV is flat. MACD has dipped under zero.  The weakness is obvious.  It is during times of pessimism when people are giving up that bargains are to be found.  The reasons for me to buy into Saizen REIT remain valid and I am still in the buy queue at 16c.


FSL Trust: This counter stood out like a sore thumb in my watchlist.  It was so red and sore that I had to do a midday analysis of it. Well, technically, the picture is so obviously negative that it is not necessary to say much. The merged 100d and 200d MAs provided a very important support at 60.5c.  Breaching that was a bad sign. The gapping down today and the subsequent huge ugly black candle suggests further weakness.


The question on people's minds is probably how low might it go? I don't know but I can tell that the next important support is at 51c or so.  This is derived from drawing two sets of Fibo lines.  I would wait and see if that holds, if it goes that low.

Fundamentally, FSL Trust's business is a simple one.  It has to ensure that its ships are leased out and it gets charter income.  After deducting all the expenses, it could distribute what is left to unitholders.  These days, it does not give out 100% as it keeps some to pay down its debts.  It is still paying out of its cash flow and not earnings.

The premature end to the two leases would cost the trust US$20,700 x 2 per day in charter income. This represents 15% of FSL's charter income. This might affect future DPU if the management does not have any contingency plans to reduce the negative impact of this development.

Related posts:
FSL Trust: A sinking ship?
Charts in brief: 3 May 10.


Posted May 04, 2010 10:07am EDT by Henry Blodget

FSL Trust: A sinking ship?

The sell down today is very severe and it is due to revelation that two ships are being returned prematurely.  Their leases were supposed to end in 2014. This would mean the removal of two significant income streams for the trust to the tune of US$20,700 per day per vessel, to be exact.  See announcement here.

At midday, FSL Trust was down almost 10% at 54.5c on extremely high volume. Two groups of people are probably wondering how low it could go.  The first group would be unitholders (if they have not sold by now).  The second group would be people who still want to buy into the trust for some reason.



Looking at the chart at midday, all MAs, short and long term, have turned down.  The MACD is plunging into negative territory and pulling away from the signal line. MFI re-enters the oversold region. Look at the OBV, it has jumped off a cliff!  People are discarding FSL Trust! Unless some re-assurance is received from the management that the trust has some contingency plans, this panic selling is likely to continue for a bit more. 

How low could it go? In such a panic situation, it is hard to say but it could go much lower. However, to be fair, in situations of extreme selling, there is always a chance of a rebound. I will do some charting again this evening and perhaps look at the numbers too.

Related posts:
High yields: Successes, failures and the in betweens.
Charts in brief: 19 Mar 10.

Charts in brief: 3 May 10.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A brand new trading day in a brand new month.  It's May! Are you going to sell in May and go away?




CapitaMalls Asia: Black candle day on reduced volume. Price closed at gap support: $2.16. MFI is still in the oversold region. MACD is still below zero.  Momentum is negative but the distance between the MACD and signal line has narrowed. Reversal is looking dicey, again. See what happens tomorrow.  As usual, I would sell on the way up.  If price continues to decline, look to the next supports and see if they hold.  Would buy on weakness if supports hold as I still like the fundamentals of this counter.



Golden Agriculture: MFI and OBV flattened.  This counter is looking directionless. Having been trading beneath the 20dMA ,which has turned downwards, for four sessions in a row does suggest that a slow drift downwards is probable. 60c is the immediate resistance now.  If the support at 58c is taken out, the next support could be found at 55.5c as provided by the rising 100dMA.



Healthway Medical: Traded the whole day at one price only, 15.5c. The trading volume has been in decline as the price drifted lower.  This is a positive. The rising 100dMA should provide a relatively strong support at 15.5c.  The MFI is in oversold territory and I do not expect the price to crash.



The current price level is good to enter as a hedge for anyone who has been waiting to get in.  However, looking the MACD's behaviour of staying closely to the signal line in a parallel fashion as it goes deeper into negative territory suggests that this malaise might continue for some time. In case of further weakness, support would strengthen with every 0.5c decline in price.

Courage Marine: Price plunged after XD today. I like the fundamentals of the company and I see 20.5c as a strong support provided by the rising 50dMA and I would buy more at that level.  Price might continue to weaken to 20c and I would accumulate if it happens.  If price continues to lower towards 18c which is the price where the counter made a double bottom, I would load up more.  A triple bottom?  Maybe.  So, buy on weakness but I would not break the piggy bank.



Especially, I would like to draw attention to the declining volume as price weakens.  It is a low volume pullback.  This gives me greater confidence in my decision to accumulate on weakness.  The FA is good.  The TA lets us know entry prices which are considered fair.  It doesn't get any better than this for me.

Saizen REIT: Ongoing weakness seen here. 16c might be called upon as the support next and this, in my opinion, would be a strong support as we see three Fibo lines approximate 16c. They are the 138.2%, 150% and 161.8% Fibos. I am in the buy queue at 16c.



MFI is in the oversold region but the down trending OBV suggests some distribution activity.  So, it might be oversold but there are unitholders who are still willing to sell down.  Looking at the numbers, the suggestion is that smaller unitholders are the ones selling.  I do not see any high volume sell downs. For a REIT with almost a billion units currently in the market, a daily trading volume of 1m to 2m units is almost nothing.  If people are willing to sell cheaper, I am willing to buy cheaper.  At 16c, this would be almost a steal at a 60% discount to the last reported NAV!

Related post:
Charts in brief: 30 April 10.

Tea with AK71: Feeling nostalgic.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Suddenly feeling nostalgic and I kind of remember that I lent the CDs to a friend. Not sure. The internet is a wonderful thing.  I found the songs on YouTube. Well, they are probably not everyone's cup of tea.  It's just like I don't really like Earl Grey.  Hahaha... For those who share the same taste as me, take a break and enjoy the songs.

A close friend:


Breaking up:


True love is like this:


On that steadfast note, have a great week ahead!

A correction? An opportunity!

With the significant selldown of the US markets last friday, what will happen to the STI? There are proponents of the decoupling theory and that the STI now takes its lead from the HSI and the SSE instead of the Dow.  So, maybe, the STI will be spared? Let's take a look at the STI's chart.

The STI closed at 2974.61 last, forming a spinning top. This indicates indecision. Indecision as the index is trying to move higher?  No good.  To be sure, the STI is in a down channel and has been so since mid April. The MACD has been declining and is pulling away from the signal line. The MFI has been forming lower highs. All looking very bearish.




The 20dMA which served as support until three sessions ago is now at 2,980. To resume the uptrend, the STI has to re-capture this support.  However, seeing how it failed in its attempt in the last session, this is looking less likely. Instead, a continuing move downwards is more probable.  The Bollinger bands are squeezing and this suggests an impending increase in volatility of the index.

One bright spot, the OBV turned up sharply in the last session. This suggests that there is strong accumulation activity even as the buying momentum declined.  In other words, there is some underlying support.  So, any decline in the STI should meet with some support as people who have missed out on the rally earlier buy on weakness.

In the event of a continuing move downwards, the rising 50dMA provides support at 2,900 while the rising 100dMA provides support at 2,860. I see a strong support at the 2,790 level (previously a strong resistance).  Yes, there is a chance that the STI might go that low.  Never say never, right?

I would refrain from purchasing any stocks for now, especially index linked stocks. Wait and see.

Related post:
Markets are going higher in time.

Looking for value.

After learning TA, I tried applying it and I have made and lost money. I think I am not very good as a trader since I must have lost more than I made. My roots are in FA but it was only during this recent crisis that I beefed it up. I believe that my current style of combining FA and TA is most suitable for me.

The thing about FA is that we are looking for value. We want to buy something valued at $1 for 50c, for example, but that, to anyone who has been practising FA for sometime, is too simplistic. Let us not dwell on that for now in order to push this post forward.

When we buy something based on FA, the chances of us being disciplined and to hold on, riding through rough patches, are higher. This is because our knowledge of the fundamentals of the stock anchors us down.  We are less likely to be flighty. Personally, I need that kind of anchor. That was how I had the mental strength to hold on to Healthway Medical when some gave up.  The story is here.

I am not a good trader because I don't like to cut loss and if I do cut loss, I hurt.  I am not without emotions and I don't like feeling hurt.

I am not a good trader because I feel half clothed not knowing the fundamentals of a company.  I feel like I am looking through lens with cataracts.

A clear picture of a company's fundamentals is important for me.  I would buy into a company that is undervalued or even fairly valued as long as I see potential given the circumstances in the present and what is foreseeable in the future.

For anyone who wants to look for value in companies, start by reading up on financial statements. As good a place to start as any is here. Economics and the industry the company is found in are important considerations too. Not everyone enjoys FA just like how not everyone is a good trader.  We have to find our own niche. Whatever our choice, remember that there is no free lunch in this world.

Related posts:
Portfolio strategy: Undervalued high yield counters.
High yields: Successes, failures and the in betweens.
-------------------------------------
The "Woodstock of Capitalism": An Insiders' View
Posted Apr 30, 2010 07:30am EDT by Heesun Wee



A 'powerful' sermon. Matthews says the Q&A session is a highlight for him -- watching both Buffett and Munger apply their guiding principles to each, individual question...."Do the right thing. Look for value. And buy and hold" is their message, Matthews says. But, "it's the difference between reading a sermon on paper and actually hearing it in person. It's very powerful....

Tea with AK71: Buying a car now?

My current car is almost 5 years old.  It is a Mazda 6 2.0 and was purchased at a price of $80k.  I intend to drive it for a few more years since it is still virtually trouble free.

However, out of curiosity, I went to check if I could still buy a new Mazda 6 2.0 for $80k today.  Wow!  I was shocked to find out that $80k could only get me a Mazda 2 1.5 today, not even a Mazda 3 1.6.  I have heard from people, in recent weeks, how much new cars have gone up in price in Singapore but this is kind of scary.

I went to check on the Mercedes Benz A160 which was a car I was recommended to buy many years ago at $99k but I thought it pricey.  The A160 is no longer available but the A180 is almost $130k if I want to buy one! I like this video:



In August last year, I convinced my mom to change her car as her then 3 years old KIA Magentis 2.0 had many problems and the workshop quoted a repair cost of almost $3k after her car's three years warranty lapsed!  The car loan was fully paid up by then and I advised her that the $3k saved from repairing the KIA could go towards paying for a new car. 

We decided on a Mitsubish Lancer Mivec 1.5 for $60k and deregistered the KIA for $20k.  We only had to pay a balance of $40k.  Guess what, it would cost her about $80k now to get the same Mitsubishi 9 months later!

Very rarely do we make money from buying cars but my mom did (well, by saving money). $20k.  No small change.  Makes me wonder if I should have changed my car at the same time she did.  ;-)

You might be interested in this post:
Grow your wealth and beat inflation.

Japan's domestic consumption strengthens.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Japanese Shoppers to Spend More, Credit Suisse Says 
By Masaki Kondo and Akiko Ikeda

April 16 (Bloomberg) -- Japanese service providers and other companies reliant on domestic demand will benefit from increasing consumption, Credit Suisse Group AG said.

An improving job market and a demographic shift in the workplace are likely to boost spending, Credit Suisse’s chief Japan economist Hiromichi Shirakawa, said in an interview yesterday. As the nation ages, there are more opportunities for young people, he said.

Complete article here.



Japan Spending, Wages Rise as Prices Slump 13th Month
By Aki Ito and Keiko Ujikane

April 30 (Bloomberg) -- Japan’s household spending, wages and job openings increased, while consumer prices tumbled for a 13th straight month, signaling a sustained recovery that’s still not strong enough to end deflation.

Today’s statistics were released hours before Bank of Japan policy makers are scheduled to announce their decision on monetary policy. Board members must decide whether to step up their efforts to contain price declines by expanding a 20 trillion yen ($212 billion) lending program. The bank is forecast to keep its benchmark interest rate near zero.

“The economy’s recovery is steadily continuing,” said Hiroshi Miyazaki, chief economist at Shinkin Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. Even so, “deflationary pressures are still deep- seated in the economy,” he said.

Household outlays rose 4.4 percent in March from a year earlier, the biggest gain since May 2004, the statistics bureau said today in Tokyo. Consumer prices excluding fresh food slid 1.2 percent from a year earlier. Wages advanced 0.8 percent, the first increase in 22 months, the Labor Ministry said.

Read complete article here.

Related posts:
Japan's debt issue and Saizen REIT.
Japan's recovery accelerating.
Replies from AK71: Japan's economy.
Buy Japanese real estate.

The EU and Asia.


I remember reading as an undergrad that artificial countries will never work out.  Good examples are the former Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia.  We can never integrate people and their spaces together with other people and their spaces if they are different culturally.  We need very strong leaders to hold such constructs together.

In recent times, we saw problems in China with Tibet and Indonesia with Timor. Now, the problem which is more glaring is the EU. The EU is different in that it is made up of different countries.  These countries have given up their own currencies to embrace a common currency.  This, effectively, surrenders some of the individual countries' control over their economic destinies. This is probably a reason why Baroness Margaret Thatcher, then Prime Minister, refused to have the UK join the EU.

In The Straits Times on 29 April, I read with concern as an article reported that there is little danger to Asia because of our little trade exposure to the EU.  It said that the EU consumes 19.8% of China's exports, 12.4% of Korea's, 11.9% of Japan's, 11.9% of Thailand's, 10.3% of Taiwan's and just 4.9% of Singapore's.  These numbers are based on a 12 month average ending March.

What should be considered, in my opinion, is the missing multiplier effect. If China loses 19.8% of her export market in any substantial way, we can imagine them importing less from other countries and this will impact other countries' trade figures in total.  Same goes for Japan, Korea and also Singapore.  The fallout will have earth moving consequences for us in Asia.

Unfortunately, there is no end in sight to the EU's problems, it would seem.

Blame Germany, Galbraith Says:
"Extreme Brinkmanship" Imperils Europe
Posted Apr 30, 2010 03:43pm EDT by Aaron Task



In sum, the Greek bailout may alleviate the immediate crisis but is far from a "permanent solution," the economist says. European officials will be "fighting fires continuously until they address the constitutional problem" of the EU.

Tea with AK71: Nightmare at Bugis.

I remember people complaining about not being able to get a seat on the MRT trains when I was an undergrad which was when the MRT was still quite a young system in Singapore.  I was also young and didn't mind standing in the trains since most of my rides were to commute between Tiong Bahru (the nearest station to my flat) and Clementi (to take a bus to the Uni) which are only a few stops apart.

Not long after I started working about 15 years ago, I started driving.  Over the years, I observed the increasingly crowded condition of our roads and I complained about it. Driving was beginning to be stressful.

One day, not too long ago, I decided to take the MRT train and give my car a break and do some good for the environment by reducing my carbon footprint etc.  Actually, it was more to give myself a break as I thought that taking the train would be less stressful than driving. I told myself that Tiong Bahru is just a few stations to Bugis, which is true, and I wouldn't have to worry about terrible drivers, red lights and parking.

The waiting time for the train was about 3 minutes.  I must have missed the earlier train just.  That was fine.  When the train came, it was packed!  Wow!  I am now a bit thicker around the middle than I was back in school but I managed to squeeze myself into the train.  I felt like a sardine in a can. The discomfort was made worse by the coming in and going out of passengers at the next few stations.

When the train got to Bugis, I got out in relief only to be greeted by an absolute nightmare.  The station was packed! Wow, wow! There were two escalators where I was standing: one up and one down.  Both escalators were packed to capacity and people were trying to get onto them. When I managed to get on the upgoing escalator, I truly empathised with salmons swimming upstream! In less than an hour, I felt like a sardine and a salmon! A truly Singaporean experience?

The problem? The platform was very narrow (I am referring to the air conditioned space in between the two train tracks) as in there was little space compared to the crowd at the station. It reminded me of a local train station in Kyoto.  If you could imagine putting a small Kyoto train station in Tokyo or Osaka, you would be able to picture the chaos.  There and then, I told myself that I would never take the MRT train to Bugis again.  If there had been some sort of an emergency, many would be trampled to death in a stampede, I do not doubt.

It occurred to me that Bugis station was probably built without anticipating the recent burgeoning population in Singapore. It is also difficult to enlarge the platform since the train tracks would have to be moved outwards. The only way I think the situation could be improved without any major changes is to increase the number of escalators in the station.  This, I believe would improve the current situation tremendously.  This is one for the engineers.

Blog statistics: January to April 2010.

What started out of boredom and curiosity last Christmas Eve has become a passionate new hobby. I enjoy writing and I enjoy sharing my ideas. Blogging allows me to do both these things.  I am a happy man.

I am also happy to see that my blog has found support from an increasing number of people both in Singapore and beyond. I am sharing the numbers here with all of you.  You made these numbers possible.  Now, if only the prices of the shares I own would improve so rapidly as well. That would make me even happier.




Thank you very much for visiting, for reading and for those who left comments, thanks for that too. Have an enjoyable Labour Day long weekend.

Related post:
Unique visitors: Crossing the 40000 mark.

 
 
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