On days like yesterday (where the index fell 3.8%) I often hit the phones and call brokers, fund managers other investors to get a gauge on sentiment. I'm trying to get a sense on levels of activity from the retail side to see if there is fear/selling and to see if the insto side is stepping in to buy the market. These are a few observations 1) Broking floors are dead quiet, no buying but also limited selling. Feedback is that there was plenty of buying post the pullback in late August but since then things have gone quiet. 2) There is some caution around the closing level of yesterdays market. From a technical perspective one fund manager highlighted the series of 'lower highs' that the market has made since late August. 3) Offshore funds have stepped out of the market, awaiting a lower currency before re-investing. 4) There is a level of caution about the cause of this volatility, one fund manager remarked "Fundamentally we don't think there is anything wrong, but all the symptoms suggest that something is."
I'm holding off at the moment in the hope of buying at lower levels, my small amount of capital is precious and I like to see big margins of safety on the value front before I deploy capital. There are some high quality names which are looking closer to the buy zone now than they have for a while though.