I find some of the reactions of our fellow Singaporeans to the recent haze quite interesting. 

It’s a parallel I can infer and apply to trading in the markets – after all, the market is made up of people; with it’s tug if war between emotions and rationality.

If you never had any respiratory problems all your life, work and live in air-con environment, don’t have high risk dependents like small children and older parents, did you join the queue for the N95 masks? And did you buy any air purifiers?

What motivated you from your inertia into action? Was it your own volition? Or was it the actions of your colleagues at your work place? Or was the trigger from the media that reported long queues for N95 masks and it’s shortages at some retail locations?

Was the emotional reaction similar with record COE prices? Or rising property prices and long queues during the property launches? How about when STI made new 52 week high? Or when colleagues were all talking about and punting that hot IPO of the month? 

After the joy and elation of finally securing the N95 masks by Friday last week, what was your emotional state when the skies started to clear up the next day during Saturday? Were you glad that the haze has not gotten worse till today? Or were a little bit teeny weeny upset that you never got to use these highly prized N95 masks after going through all the trouble and hassle to secure them?

During the worst days of the haze, I saw some young children and senior citizens (high risk group) going around in the public with surgical masks on. Perhaps they couldn’t secure the N95 masks; but these surgical masks are practically useless against the harmful PM 2.5 particles. Does having this “false sense of security” help? Or does it do more damage (since I got a mask on, I can stay outdoors longer)?

Those that haven’t got their N95 masks, would you still get them despite the recent good fortune in wind direction? Wind directions do change, no? 

How about next year? Will you make your OWN preparations in advance for the next Indonesian dry season? Or will you rely on complaining to Big Daddy to make you feel good instead? How Big Daddy never made preparations and all…. Of course we skip the part on our own preparations and how you have personally experienced the haze for the last 15 years. We blame it all on short memory span!

I am merely sharing my observations and reflections. There is no mockery intended.

I think there are interesting parallels when it comes to:

Insurance needs

Making big ticket purchases

Market timing

Risk management

Emotional trades versus informed decisions after homework

Attention span of market participants

Influence of media and people around you

And of course our famous kiasuism (fear of losing out)!

How about you? Did you have your own parallels to share?


Singapore Man of Leisure (welcome to my blog; just google it!)