The markets tanked and then recovered in 2009. And what a recovery it was. Stocks have gone up 3,4 times in the last 6 months. Not the frontliners but some of the midcaps. The frontliners are just about back to where they fell from in Jan 2008. So, in a span of 2 years people who have stayed invested in the market are back to even. Those who had the guts to buy when there was mayhem around have actually made stupendous returns. But actually most retail investors have lost money. They came to the party late and left early, trying desperately to recuperate some of their losses!
The lessons from all this are:
1. Ignore the market. Focus on the businesses.
2. Buy when there is blood on the street (old jungle saying!!).
3. Sell when everyone and their uncles are buying (remember Reliance Power IPO?)
4. The money is made while buying, so make sure even if you get an average deal while selling, you still make money.
5. Over the long term, trading makes only one person rich - your broker!!