It wasn't a very good day in the market today. The Dow was down 58.03 to 13,062.91. The Nasdaq was down relatively sharper at 2,525.09, down 32.12, and the S&P was down 11.71. On a volume basis, on the NYSE there were 343 million shares advancing and 1.35 billion shares heading lower. Similarly on the NASDAQ there was 369 million shares advancing and 1.75 billion shares to the downside.
The new high/low discrepancy was also of concern with 59 new highs on the NYSE and 16 new lows, but 51 new highs and 67 new lows on the NASDAQ.
But what to do?
You all probably know my approach, but I shall be sitting tight (for now). I always reserve the right to change my mind but I shall try to follow the rules as I have developed. When stocks hit sales (like my Jones Soda) I shall unload them. Not because I think they are bad investments. Not because I think they shall not bounce back and go higher another day. Simply because in the interest of preserving my gains, I shall be limiting my exposure to declines to the rules I have set up previously.
Unfortunately I am heavily in margin.
Margin leverages everything. On the upside, gains are magnified, on the downside, the reverse is true. This is why I changed one of my plans on 25 positions. I am holding at 20 positions as my maximum until such time that either through sales or contributions, my margin has been paid off.
My portfolio management system is not about thinking. It is about observing and responding. About not anticipating, not predicting, not determining anything. Hopefully the quality stocks that I have chosen shall rebound when stocks rebound. I believe they will. I do not know when corrections last one day or one year. I don't know if anyone really knows.
Historically markets have moved higher over the long haul. And that is my place. The long haul. I shall watch my gains increase and decrease over time. I believe that with my approach, I shall be successful overall. But that is just sheer hypothesis on my part.
Meanwhile, wish me luck.
It is a cold, hard world outside. It required cold, hard decisions. And nerves of steel. With some rules and you all out there, I think this is going to go great! Time will tell.