Results season inevitably become a question hour. Instead of getting worked up about the questions let us try and find some answers. Is the economy really recovering? Market watchers keep getting this self-doubt in waves. The results season is clearly a time when the waves resurrect themselves. One bad result or a couple of banks showing growth in loan slippages sets off the ripples. So, the doubting Thomas’ find enough reasons to question a recovery. “What if things get worse?” is raised unfailingly in every quarter of an economic recovery. When will we stop raising this question? When the recovery is settled beyond reasonable doubt. Must we wait for that moment? Or, is that moment around us? Both questions find one answer. A recovery can never be symmetric. Some industries recover first. The cyclicals recover the last. This asymmetry should be understood and played well. But, we seem to be waiting for the cyclicals to recover beyond doubt. Doubts definitely persist on the bigger banks and metals. So, the doubts are gradually getting addressed. An investor must quickly understand the importance of time corrections. Time corrections are not forever. Time corrections give us time for lateral entry into equities. The stock prices of cyclicals have been factoring in bad news for the past 12 months. This explains why they have been soft even in the light of news flows turning to be less lethal. So, even after a year, investors still fear the worst. And, refuse to participate aggressively in the ongoing time correction.
This is like people expecting a tsunami in the year after you have already had one. The probability of a second tsunami is mostly diminished. Yet, people fear it. The news flows on cyclicals seem to be putting behind the worst. The worst may decisively be put behind in a few quarters. By that time, the markets would have made up its mind too. An investor must appreciate the importance of being ahead of market cycles to amply profit from them. As an investor the goal is not to beat market returns alone. It is to beat the market in the conviction race & the behaviour game. The time to take the lead on conviction and behaviour is definitely around now. This time correction is not forever. So, why wait for it to end?
“The successful investor is usually an individual who is inherently interested in business problems.” – Philip Fisher