I was in Hong Kong recently and one of the main things I notice was the stock market. The Hang Seng index had surpassed the 30,000 mark while I was in Hong Kong. Stock talks were all over the place, from grocery stores to shopping malls. And almost everyone was trading stocks – young adults, moms, and even grandma’s. Some people even quit their job to trade stocks. Every morning most of Hong Kong is focus on the Hang Seng index and their stock portfolios. And it seems so unreal, everyday the market is going up.
At the time of my departure from Hong Kong, the Alibaba company was about to go public. It was said to be one of the hottest stocks and everyone had their eyes on that stock.
It seems like deja vu to me. I remember seeing this type of market in 1999 in the US stock market. Anyone can buy any stock and make money in a short period of time. There was no reason to look at fundamentals of companies. Why? Because in the amount of time you would spend doing your research on a company, you would have already made a 20% gain. It was about buying the company with the best value, it was about buying something that was hot and would trade on news. People tell me the stock market is the best way to make money. Every time someone talks to me about stocks, I would just listen, nod my head and smile. When asked for my opinion, I would give the most unexpected answer, “Risky market. Tread carefully.”