The KLCI dropped 56.24 points or 3.99% to 1352.36 in the morning trading session. I remember the last time the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange plunged like this. It was a decade ago. The market was very bullish prior to that. That was the time when housewives, hawkers, aunties, uncles and men-in-the-street were dishing out stock tips like latuk-kong dishing out 4Ds. That was the time when “buy what go up what.” There were no fundamentals to it. All were mere speculations and hearsay from remisiers, friend”s friend and syndicates.
I have learnt my lesson well from the 1997 crash. The stock market cannot go up forever. There must be an exit plan. We must never get too greedy. When we have made enough, it is time to cash out and enjoy the fruits of the winnings. When the market starts to tumble, that is the time to cut loss. We cannot get too sentimental. Shares are neither pets nor girl friends. It has no emotions. Nobody will pity you for losing the inheritance from your grandfather or the money you saved with your wife for that dream house. When it gives it gives generously. When it takes, it has no mercy.
From the time the KLCI hit an all time high of 1524.69 on January 14, it has nosedived to 1352.36 when the market closed for lunch just now. Punters and greenhorns who jumped in at the highest point and are still holding on to the stocks hoping for the market to make a U-turn must be peeing in their pants right now. Believe me. I am very familiar with that feeling on the slippery path down. Sell also die. Hold also die. For those who took a beating in this market crash, there is no point crying over spilt milk. What has happened cannot be undone. Lick your wounds and move on. Sometimes, we need to pay to learn. This will teach us to manage risks better the next time.