We have just begun August and talks about fears and frustrations about the so-called “ghost month” do not die down. In this article, we will discuss ghost month myths and the implications financially. Lastly, and as the focus of our discussion, we will do our best to debunk these ghost month myths through powerful principles that can be easily applied by anyone, especially Pinoy breadwinners.
Ghost Month: What is it really?
The concept of the “ghost month” originated from the Chinese folk culture. Historically, the Chinese people considered the 7th month in the lunar calendar as the “ghost month”. In our modern calendar today, this usually falls on August. Specifically, the ghost month for the year 2018 starts August 11 and ends on September 9.
Among the beliefs and traditions observed by the Chinese during the ghost month are the following:
- Offering of sacrifices to the dead on the 1st, 2nd, 15th and 30th day of the ghost month
- Worshipping of the dead since the ancient times
- Belief that the gates of hell is wide open
- Children and the aged should refrain from going out at night
In our modern culture, the beliefs and traditions related to the ghost month still continues. However, modern Chinese now encourages prudence or thriftiness as part of their observance of the ghost month.
Do I have to be afraid of the ghost month?
In our time today, the Chinese belief of the so-called “ghost month” has entirely shifted our perception towards August. Probably due to tradition or misinformation, many people are afraid of the ghost month because of their belief that it affects their finances and the economy as a whole.
Among the misconceptions or ghost month myths that have an effect on Filipinos are:
- Pockets have holes during ghost month, thus, money is not that easy to go by.
- It is not a good time to invest because the stock market is down.
- The economy might crash during the ghost month.
- Starting a business is not good during the ghost month.
But if you are a Filipino investor, or planning to become one, you should be well-informed. Gauging from the Philippine Stock Exchange index history from past years, it can be seen that the Philippine stock market rides well this so-called “ghost month” trend.
Of course, it is to be expected that for businesses and listed companies dominated by Chinese foreign investors, the effect of the ghost month activities is felt.
Buying activities will experience a decline until after the ghost month is over. Certainly, the movements in the stock market are relative to the economic outlook of a country, foreign trade relations and perceived buying capacity of investors.
Powerful Principles to Debunk Ghost Month Myths
Proper information leads to wise principles. We have listed here some powerful principles or things you can do during the ghost month.
- Best time to buy
For companies which has for its majority investors are Chinese, the stock prices tend to be less active in the market during the ghost month. Less activity in buying and selling activities of a stock will produce a tendency for its stock price to move sideways or “rally” or even go down.
While this scenario largely affects active stock traders, long-term investors should be happy about the ghost month. Majority of the blue chips stocks will go down in stock prices because of the brief market rest or decline. Thus, blue chips stocks will likely be cheaper than the previous months.
If you have extra buying power, the ghost month is the best time to buy “bargain” stocks. Think of it this way: the blue chips stocks are on “sale” and you have the great opportunity to buy it cheap. Of course, historically, you should expect the stock prices of these companies to soar higher again when the ghost month ends. Likewise, it is also up to you to consider buying “bagger” stocks or those undervalued but are not considered blue chips. Just do your assignment of studying first and committing with you trade and investment plan.
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- Best time to accumulate
If you are into investing already, then consider the ghost month as the best opportune time to accumulate more on your preferred stock picks. Excess buying power means more opportunity to accumulate more stocks at a cheaper price than the preceding months.
Also, if you are a long-term investor who employs the concept of peso-cost averaging, then the ghost month must work well for you. This is the best time to accumulate on your stock picks and average your market portfolio. In this case, you will be ready once the stock prices soar up again due to high market activity after the ghost month.
- Best time to learn
If you have no excess buying power during the ghost month, then you can spend time to invest yourself into learning more. Since there is less stock market activity, you can instead allow yourself to be immersed by reading more books on finance and investments, consider planning a business, enrolling in courses to expand your knowledge, etc.