But how many of us can truly catch the right moment at the right time? Not many I would say.
Getting both the right place and time is a skill that we need to hone for precise pinpoint accuracy. It involves a lot of thinking, sometimes second level thinking, in depth understanding of the matters, psychology and some bits of luck involved.
In the investing segment, we called it the perfect “Buffett” moment. Okay, I don’t know how this relates back to Warren Buffett but I figured out that since he is a role model to many of the investors out there, his name is constantly being mentioned.
Take an example of Genting Singapore (SGX: G13) for instance.
I wrote an article about a year ago (Link Here) when their share price was hovering around $1.03.
Back then, the story was themed around the organic growth come back of their VIP gaming segment, the expansion of RWS 2.0 and also the bidding for the Japan casino tender.
As you can probably sense from the news, most of the story was outlook positive and optimism starts to build up in the air. Genting shares gets a good traction over the next couple of weeks, pushing its share price higher each time.
The valuation back then was obviously underrated if we do a long term dcf projections assuming they completed both the IR expansion as well as the Japan bid. Many of us believed they should be worth much more based on forward earnings.
Investing in Genting was obviously at the right place but was it at the right time?
First, we know that the Japan bid outcome will only be known in the latter part of 2020 so between back then when they announced until the announcement of the result so there is probably 1.5 years in between. That 1.5 years a lot of things could have happened.
On hindsight, it is easy to see now that in between the announcement and now, we had a couple of trade wars and tariff fight and the big Wuhan Coronavirus which severely impact the business progression of Genting. We are not out of the woods yet at the moment so we don’t know if things could go worse from here but I think at Code Orange, it is safe to probably say we have baked in at least half the impact here.
In my opinion, Genting shares at this moment would qualify under being at the right place at the right time.
Being at the right place is due to valuation which we already know back then in Mar 2019 how much their intrinsic value is worth after both events have played out.
Being at the right time is due to cheaper valuation due to black Swan events that have now assembled and played out that we have previously not baked into our projections. Nassim Taleb called this the unexpected turn for margin of safety.
But It Is Not Always Easy Being At The Right Time
Being at the right time usually involves plenty of luck and something that is outside of our control.
In investing, it is nearly impossible that you can always be at the right place at the right time.
So going back to the Genting examples, there are three options that you can take. Assuming you turn yourself back to Mar 2019, you can either:
Option 1: Acknowledge that Genting is undervalued but there may be macro events or uncertainties that have not played out (the more front line the industry is the more susceptible to macro headwinds and events). In this case, you forgo this investment and continued to wait for a better moment to arrive (duh, like now for instance). The downside to that is you may continue waiting perpetually and if bad events do not come then you are likely to miss the boat.
Option 2: You continue to buy for as long as they are undervalued and have long term gestation to outperform regardless of external events. When there are events that help push the share price cheaper, you increase your position.
Like the denoted cartoon below, you wait reading comic books while you wait. In investing, the comic book is also your dividends.
My only problem with this approach is we tend to distribute our fireshot too thinly. This is subconsciously knowing that you wanted to leave some powder behind in case things get worse and you get better opportunity to enter. In most result, the allocation is too minimal to make for such an impact back.
I have no answer as to which options work better in the long run as this depends on individual basis.
Obviously, my Straco position is a victim of it and just when I thought I am buying at the right place (undervalued) at the right time (margin of safety) when the flyer closed down, a second level event played out (Wuhan Coronavirus). With all attractions temporarily closed for now, I think it is safe to say that almost all the bad events have played out. The only thing I can think of is if this crisis were prolonged which means extension of the closure (third level) but hopefully we won’t come to that.
I’ve been trying to refine my strategy and mould my positioning into something which considers plenty of upside potential with minimal downside scenario. Whilst it is not easy to do that, I’ll continue to explore and share my findings if I learnt anything new that I haven’t share in this blog yet.