The pic above shows the year-to-date trend for the Taiwan stock market. It peaked in May when Ma was inaugurated and has been in a free fall since then, plummeting from over 9,000 to under 5,000 yesterday. It fell another 3.7% on Friday, in fact.
With all the news about China's plunging economy, and of course the US, now a train wreck, Taiwan is headed for more bad news over the next couple of years, until (if and when) the global economy recovers. Nevertheless, "maverick" investment guru Jim Rogers, whose appearances here in Taiwan generally make the local news, had this to say in a CNN piece the other day:
What I've been buying recently is agricultural commodities. I've also been buying more Chinese stocks. And I'm buying stocks in Taiwan for the first time in my life. It looks as if there's finally going to be peace in Taiwan after 60 years, and Taiwanese companies are going to benefit from the long-term growth of China.
We've had peace in Taiwan for decades here, Jim. The war guys are on the other side of the Strait. Taiwanese companies have already benefited from growth in China for more than a decade -- in fact they are one of its most important drivers, investing there for the last 15 years or so. And finally, it should be noted that "Taiwan" and "China" aren't going to "make peace," but the KMT and the CCP are going to sit down and dicker on how best to deliver Taiwan to China.
I know market trends today don't predict what will happen tomorrow, but I'd have to question whether now is the right time to get into the stock market here in Taiwan.
UPDATE: As commenter pointed out below, this isn't the first time Rogers has said "it's the first time...." UPDATE 2: As commenter pointed out below, a real stock analyst says casual investors are losing millions here. That ties in with what I've been saying, that it looks like certain entities are pumping Taiwan to make a killing on the little guy. Note that I am not accusing Rogers of anything here.