Wednesday 15 April 2015

Was Mr Tan Teng Boo extreme in his forecasts?

I know this is on hindsight, and I know it is hard to predict the time the market correctly.

In Mr. Tan's newsletter dated 3 Feb 2012, he expects the Hang Seng Index to drop to 12,000-13,000. This was when the index was at 20,739 and it just crossed the moving average line, signaling a reversal from a bearish trend to a bullish one.

There was a mild correction in May 2012 but the index headed North since then. It did not drop below the low of about 16,170 recorded in Oct 2011, more so to the level of 12,000 and 13,000 predicted by Mr. Tan Teng Boo.

In his newsletter dated 4 April 2015, just eleven days ago, he retains his bearish outlook of the Hang Seng Index at a range of 15,000 to 23,000 in medium term. Taking the mid point of 19,000, that's about 25% downside from the closing of 15,275.

No prize for guessing the Hang Seng Index closing today. The index jumped about 9.3% in just 6 trading days. Mind you, a 9,3% jump in index is actually very significant. It was a surge of almost  11% if we compare to the highest close of the week at 28,016 recorded on 13 April 2015.

His I Capital International Value Fund has underperformed both benchmarks.

The Outperformance of his I Capital Global Fund against the benchmark has been narrowing since early 2014.

His failed to impress as well. See previous postings:

What if you jumped into after attending Investor Days?'s return the bottom 20% in the past 5 years?
Does outperform Berkshire Hathaway Inc.?

In his recent newsletter, he retains his bearish stance on FBMKLCI with a possibile target range of 800-900 for medium term. He still expects the KLCI to drop below 1,000 points before reversing.

Why such an extremist in the index predictions? Is there any structural change in the equity markets that he failed to notice?

I remember he advised investors not to time the markets but to invest in stocks with good prospects, right management, at undervalued share price as it would to futile to forecast the unpredictable market movement. But by keeping such a high level of cash in his fund and with such a bearish index forecast, is he timing the market?

He also advised investors not to listen to noise in the market. But, wasn't he emitting noise into the market by telling lots of "ghost stories" (frightening investors) for some time?

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