Hi Mun Seng,
We have not touch ARA since Euro Debt Crisis in mid 2012 as I finds that the valuation has gone up significantly. However, the current market turmoil has caused the company’s share price to plunge significantly and once again, making it attractive for us.
Will the share price continue to plunge from this level or the level you mentioned?
I do not know and I am sure no one would know for sure, including Warren Buffett. Let me give you an example. Buffett acquired IBM at $173 a share in 2011. He continued to buy up even though the share price has gone up to $200 a share in 2012. At current price of $144, Buffett is sitting on unrealise losses of around 16% to 29%.
That kind of losses is definitely not easy to stomach. That’s why not many people has the right temperament to go through the stock market cycle. It’s only when you experience yourself, you’ll discover your own risk appetite. If a stock, you bought, keeps you awake at night then you’re probably taking too much risk (not diversifying enough) or letting your emotion at lose. Regarding to latter issue, Charlie Munger said “Having a certain kind of temperament is more important than brains. You need to keep raw irrational emotion under control.”
Unless you are planning to profit in the short term, I do not see the need to be fearful regarding the volatility of the market. There is a difference between risk and volatility. The former is the permanent loss of capital and the latter simply the emotions of the market which I can choose to ignore or profit from.
Honestly, I do not think that I give you an answer for your question on how to buy a stock at the lowest (which is impossible). During the market melt down, good stocks are likely to get beaten down too. Victor and I have been very active lately and it’s something that we are excited about since it made our job easier to find bargains.