Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Parag Parikh's view on the US downgrade by S&P

We tend to make decisions based on the currently, readily available
information vividly displayed. Open any newspaper or flip through a business
channel, or go to a party, there is only one talk of the US being downgraded
by the S&P. Why? Because of the high fiscal deficit and the high amount of
debt. Is this really new? Did not the world know about it? So why the
reaction? Well it is because of the availability bias. Today the downgrading
is the centre of attraction. 
Go back a couple of months in the memory lane.
The 2G scam, the Anna Hazare fast, the CWC games scandal. When they were the
centre of attraction the newspapers, the TV channels concentrated only on
those news. Although none of the matters have still been sorted out, how
much reporting does one see? Over the next week the euphoria on the down
grade will die down.
As the fear dies down and the reality dawns, things will improve. When this will happen, no one knows. It can be tomorrow, a week or a month or a year from now. You make the choice.

One another bias investors are prone to is the Representative Bias. The 2009 crisis still haunts investors. The way the stocks lost values is still very vivid in the minds of investors. One should not consider the recent downgrade and the fall as a representative of the 2008/2009. This is very different. We are not in a situation like that.
Lastly coming back to the downgrade by S&P. If they were so good in their judgments what happened in 2008/2009? Were they able to assess the quality of derivative mortgage backed securities which led to the downfall of so many financial institutions and banks? 
We are living in a society where insanity and irrationality works. The best way to survive is to follow a process and be disciplined to keep to that. The process: Buy good sustainable businesses available at attractive valuations and run by good management. The discipline: Think long term and not be swayed away by market swings.

Read the full post here: https://www.ppfas.net/blog/2011/08/08/sp-downgrade-caution-or-an-opportunity/

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