The last 2 bears, GFC, and the early 2000s Crisis (911, SARS, Iraq war, etc) are simply learning curves for me, I did not earn a fortune, in fact, I lost a fortune in the 2000s bear and just break even in the GFC.
911 and thereafter
When 911 strikes, I know nuts about valuation and business. My valuation is "huh? SIA at $9" In the end, I brought 200 shares of SIA at $7.5 and sold it at $15. My thoughts then are: "Why am I so Kiasi", I start reading research report, taking the average of target prices and start buying. I made money for most. Until I fall in love in CAO, and lose everything I earn and more.
Method of the 3M is seriously lacking, I invest based on gut feel. Who says gut feel can't makes you a winner temporaily. I sold all my diverse winnings to invest in CAO, something I will definitely not do now, no matter how convinced I am on a company prospect. (I do think SingShipping is rock solid, but I keep it to only 10-15% of my portfolio, to avoid concentration risk.) Thereafter, the super bull run was missed as I nursed my wound.
GFC and thereafter
When GFC starts, I was just married with a pregnant wife and into the workforce for only 2 years. I just got a car. Money of the 3 M is seriously lacking. Nonetheless, I still bought 3 lots of STI ETF when STI is at 1600. Very soon, it went to 1400. Everyday, I was looking at the paper loss, asking myself how much lower it will get. My initial plan was to accumulate when STI is at 1200 and then again at 800.
When STI is at 1400, I chicken out, I tell myself to only go in for one more tranche at STI 800 points. There is no chance for me, as it turns out 1400 is the bottom.
It shows how weak the Mind and how small my Money is during the GFC time. Nonetheless, the 3 lots of STI double, and my vitamin M improves, as I work. I bought into mainly S-chips I made some and lost some. The 3 lots bought at GFC only allowed me to break even from my past CAO failure.
2012 Euro Crisis
Not many will consider 2013 Greece tantrum as a full Euro Crisis, but market did correct 20% and is also a great bargain period. I remembered watching Singpost at 96 cents, HPHT at 60 cents. The mind then was: wait for it to get lower.
After becoming a Value Investor Wannabe, I having not profited at all from the GFC and 2012 Great Euro Correction, I am impatient. My dilemma then when STI is around 2900 is, I am not sure when corrections will happen, if a correction of 5% happens when the market has risen 5% or 10%, what good is waiting? Also, some counters I am monitoring are decoupled or not directly correlated with the STI. I wanted compounding to work, and for compounding to work, you need size. I was fully vested only until recently, and is more of case of due to circumstances than choice.
Of the 3 M, I think the weakest link is Money, follow by Mind.
I am thinking of Bear too now. At 3000, STI is still at good 20-25% from it last peak. At almost 3500, it is dangerously close to its all-time peak. Can it break new high of 4000? Well, It might, but I think I would have divested even more then.
I ask myself how I feel one month ago, when I am almost fully vested, and now when I have a bigger emergency fund and separate opportunity fund and also a "Mother hospitalization fund", I know the answer loud and clear is: I feel much at ease. Although everyday I look at some counters and are very tempted to invest, I keep thinking about the weak Money that will make me vulnerable to bear. I am still reasonably vested to take advantage of a Cheong to 4000.
Now that the Mind is more at ease, I can only try to be better at Money and Method. The only dilemma I have now is: well, Market is at a high, but counters I am watching has fallen from 15% to even 70% from their peak, should I invest? They might not be correlated to the general market.
Maybe the 70% fall counter, I will nimble...