BUYING THE BOTTOM?

“Your chances of picking the bottom of the market are very slim, but if you’re within five or ten percent, your gains can be extraordinary” Shelby Davis

“Some people boast of selling at the top of the market and buying at the bottom – I don’t believe this can be done except by latter-day Munchausens. I have bought when things seemed low enough and sold when they seemed high enough. In that way I have managed to avoid being swept along to those wild extremes of market fluctuations which prove so disastrous.” Bernard Baruch

“No man is more entitled to buy at the bottom than Buffet, and yet no man is more aware of the foolishness in trying” Frank Martin

“At major turning points in markets, market prognosticators are generally wrong” Leon Levy

“It’s difficult - and, I later came to conclude, impossible - to determine turning points” Paul Singer

“Since the “bottom” is only declared in retrospect, those who wait for it almost always go away empty-handed” Frank Martin

“Even in more normal markets the typical investor feels uncomfortable when he buys too soon and unhappy when he sells too soon.   Yet to be a true practitioner of the buy-low-sell-high rule he must be entirely ready to do both” Benjamin Graham

“The lesson learned here is that we are never able to buy at the low. Almost every stock I’ve ever had in the portfolio has always declined after we buy it, and thankfully most usually don’t go down to this extreme, but I think it is pretty normal to have it go down and I almost expect it now.” Mohnish Pabrai

“You must buy on the way down. There is far more volume on the way down than on the way up, and far less competition among buyers. It is almost always better to be too early than too late, but you must be prepared for price markdowns on what you buy” Seth Klarman

“A savant is one who buys or sells within 20% of the top or bottom. Most who believe they’re smart enough to recognize and take appropriate action to capitalize on a market top or bottom as it is occurring are likely more idiot than savant” Frank Martin

"You never get the high and you never get the low"  Walter Schloss

“In my experience, most people who are lucky enough to sell something before it goes down get so busy patting themselves on the back they forget to buy it back.” Howard Marks

“The important turning points in markets are never identified with precision in advance by ‘experts’ and policymakers. This lack of foresight is not surprising, because markets and the course of the economy are not model-able scientific phenomena but rather are examples of mass human behavior, which are never predictable with anything like precision.   But what is surprising is that even the most sophisticated investors, traders and commentators continue to rely on predictions issued by those who have no record of success at such forecasts.”  Paul Singer

"While it is always tempting to try to time the market and wait for the bottom to be reached (as if it would be obvious when it arrived), such a strategy has proven over the years to be deeply flawed.  Historically, little volume transacts at the bottom or on the way back up and competition from other buyers will be much greater when the market settle down and the economy begins to recover.  Moreover, the price recovery from a bottom can be swift.  Therefore, an investor should put money to work amidst the throes of a bear market, appreciating things will likely get worse before they get better" Seth Klarman

"Nobody can know where the bottom (or top) is. That is why we normally ease into positions and out, and in bear markets test the waters rather than doing big splashy “cannonballs” into the pool. The worst part of bear markets is not necessarily the cascade of paper for sale at declining prices; rather, it is that liquidity disappears for both buyers and sellers, making it even more difficult to enter or exit a position at the apparent market price."  Paul Singer

"Many seem allergic to buying investments in the face of expected bad news - even when prices have fallen to bargain levels - if that news seems likely to drive the price still lower.  In a sense, many investors will keep trying to satisfy short-term (and ultimately irrelevant) objectives, even at times when bargains are widespread.  After all, securities can always trade lower before they move higher.  Trying to identify the absolute low is a fool's errand" Seth Klarman