Tom Scollon
Tom Scollon
Chief Editor

I was given a generous gift voucher for a major and quality department store and I went there last Saturday but I am sorry to report I could not spend the money. Can you believe it? I told a couple of women about this and they thought I was well just a little batty.

I really worked hard at buying and after a couple of hours I gave up. As I walked around the store – please excuse the expression – I smelt decay. All was not right. And I was not the only ’non’ buyer there. I chatted to others and it was a similar story. There is not much we really need as we have overindulged over the last several years. How many plasmas do I need, how many computers, jackets do I need? My desire for things, my appetite to buy has been in self indulgent mode for some years now and I have been wooed at sales since I can remember and I’m just over buying. How low do prices have to go before I would buy again? Well a long long way.

And I am afraid to say that analogy can be parallel with other ’markets’. Not the least of which is equities. How low do they have to go before I will buy? Terrible, but I am waiting for really desperate sellers and I think they are yet to show their hand. I look at property trusts and contemplate the sell down that is yet to happen. I look at the number of individuals who would like to quit an asset so they can retire or companies trying to quit underperforming assets.

Another perspective to ’not buying your straw hats in summer’ is not to be a seller in winter. Sort of makes sense and is obvious but yet few follow the adage.

The tough thing is to break the cycle - how do you become the buyer and not a seller of straw hats in winter?

Well it is winter now and thus we are coming up to a time when you really do need to research the straw hat market. Because there are so many anxious sellers out there we will soon see some very committed selling at crazy prices for otherwise sound assets. And you want to be there with your cheque book. Don’t let it pass without picking off some bargains.

Enjoy the ride

Tom Scollon
Chief Analyst