They give you this but you paid for that
And once you’re gone you can never come back
When you’re out of the blue and into the black.
Rock n roll will never die, There’s more to the picture than meets the eye. (Hey hey, my my – Neil Young)
There are several huge advantages to writing a public account of your trades and investments and your analysis behind them. Probably the most important of which is that it forces you to keep detailed, consistent notes that you can then go back to and use to see where you’ve been right and where you’ve been wrong. Learning from our own and others’ mistakes (and successes) is the only way to truly improve our money-management skills over time. This 2013 year is already 3/4 of the way in the bag, and what a wild ride it has been already. Let’s take a quick look back at some of the past year’s highs and lows.
Some winners –
- Facebook: Facebook? You heard it here first; Facebook isn’t in a bubble … yet, Facebook is still a buy; How Facebook gets to $100 per share, The new four horsemen of tech
- Gold & Silver: The gold and silver crash is artificial, Making a stealth leveraged bet on gold, Keep buying gold gold gold, any way you can
- Telecom infra stocks: Ciena and an idea on the next one to pop
- Bottom in solar stocks: Go contrarian, go clean tech, First Solar is back and tradable
- Short Treasurys: It’s time to panic about Treasurys, The single biggest threat to the economy and markets
Some losers –
- Financial shorts: Fiscal-cliff lies and how to trade against them, On Wall Street, fraudsters party on
- Apple: Trade Alert – Selling Google calls as I buy Apple calls
- Zagg A unique investment: Value & growth
- Intel – Deep intel on Intel
Markets/Economy Analysis –
- Tech revolution just getting started
- Crime, confidence and precious-metal price-fixing
- Retirement strategies for a brave new world
- Stock-market bubble will get even bigger
- Buy when the bulls are terrified
Looking at my portfolio’s performance in 2013 reinforces one key theme I’ve learned repeatedly over the years — it’s when we get positioned in the overall portfolio for big moves over several months or quarters or years that make us our biggest profits and that therefore make the biggest difference to the portfolio. Day-trading, earnings gambles, hedges and other short-term moves we made are key to long-term risk minimization and portfolio management, but they don’t pay big like our huge winners over longer time periods do.
The hedges and trims on strength seem foolish in retrospect. For example, was I really trimming FB calls below $30 a share? Even if I had bought them when FB was below $20 a share, I still want to kick myself for selling any of it now that it’s near $42 a share. Then again, what if we’d ended up wrong about FB or what if the markets had crashed for some reason or what if…we trim for the “what if’s”. Even though we of course wish we hadn’t when the trade works out as well as FB actually did.
Could have been even better and more profitable if we’d just never sold a thing. If you’re thinking that, the good news is that is the mentality it takes to keep you on your best edge as a trader and investor. The bad news is that you’ll never be satisfied when a thought process like that. I guess to sum up the whole here then, it’s once again a matter of finding a balance in your risk/reward mentality and in your life in general too.
On that note, I will remind all of your that discipline trumps conviction which means that you have to continue to do those little things to minimize portfolio risk.
So I’m looking to (*cough, cough) “trim” some GDX calls here this morning. We are up 500% plus on most of these call options that we bought back when GDX was darn near a bottom.
And also trimming some more FB as it is still by far my biggest position and it continues to run higher faster than I have been cutting into it making it an ever larger part of my portfolio.