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Friday, 17 June 2005
A Reader Writes "Why do you sell at Percentages?"

One of my regular readers dropped me a line today, but it looks like I deleted it before I got around to answering. But let me tell you what he wrote:

Basically, why do I sell stocks at percentage targets? Why don't I buy stocks if they are a good value and decline as they would be a better value at that price?

I believe that was the thrust of the correspondence.

To answer this question, let me just say that for most of my trading existence THAT was exactly what I did. Unfortunately, that brings a lot of emotion into the equation. For me if a stock declines, that doesn't make it a better stock...sort of a better value. It makes it a worse stock.

For me, stocks that appreciate in price are good stocks and stocks that go the other way are bad stocks.

Pretty simple huh?

My other basic philosophy is to sell losers quickly, and winners slowly. In fact, I never sell enough of a winner to get it much below the value of the holding when I first purchased it. That is why I sell 1/4 position with a 30% gain. If you look at it with fractions, 1/4 of 4/3 is 1/3, leaving 3/3. You can see the pattern.

I like to describe this method as sort of like the guy that goes to Vegas with a pile of quarters and puts all of his winning in his left pocket and the quarters he wishes to gamble with in the right. That way, the winnings aren't touched.

It isn't exactly the same, but I think you can get the idea.

I simply am not smart enough to make all of the right decisions all of the time. Thus, if I use the stock price movement itself to dictate my action, I will always know what to do and when.

I hope that is helpful. Meanwhile, I am falling asleep at my keyboard....so niters everyone!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 12:22 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink

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