I have been investing in the Philippine stock market for a few years now, and during those times I often read about the Global Financial Crisis of 2008.
It always seemed surreal to think that the stock prices of Philippine companies like Ayala, SM, Jollibee, and PLDT came stumbling down along with the world’s biggest companies, putting the world economy to a standstill.
But upon reading related texts and articles, I always thought that there were so many opportunities to buy those cheap stocks. So why didn’t the people back then just bought as many as they can?
In theory, it seemed very easy. You just need to buy when the prices are low, wait for some time… Then sell when the prices are higher, and voila! You are now a Millionaire.
But now, here I am 12 years after the 2008 crash. Another market collapse unraveling before my very eyes; seeing the market index fall from the high of 9000 in 2018 to as low as 4000 several days ago.
All these mayhem caused by the novel coronavirus from China.
The variables back then may be different from today but the effects are the same. The lives of people on the fringes of society suffer more.
Being in a community quarantine for the last two weeks, I had enough time for introspection. What I learned is outsider’s perspective really cannot compare to first-hand experience. And reactions will greatly differ from person-to-person.
My portfolio went from positive to losing almost half its value (paper loss), but honestly, I am not affected, I almost feel nothing about the loss. It is much different from what I thought I would feel if ever I was in the situation of a market crash.
Maybe it so happened that more than the safety of my capital, I am much, much more concerned with the safety of other people, particularly my family.
What we are currently experiencing will one day be an important piece of world history. One which took place during the age of information (and disinformation). A story which will be told and retold for decades to come.
A story, much greater than the fall of world economies, but the untimely loss of human lives.
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