Hello Friends! Thanks so much for stopping by and visiting my blog, Stock Picks Bob's Advice! As always, please remember that I am an amateur investor, so please consult with your own investment advisors prior to making any investment decisions based on information on this website.
I have almost disappeared from the blogging world.
Almost, but not quite :).
I still love investing, love thinking about stocks and am perpetually working at the Holy Grail of investing, 'how to pick a stock' for investing that ends up being profitable. I guess that's what it is all about.
I wanted to talk a little generally about investing and the Stock Club "Investnuts" that I have mentioned previously and that I have been a member for many years. As you might guess, I am a bit passionate at meetings and sometimes I am likely downright intolerable. Yes I confess, yours truly can be intolerable sometimes. Not that I am not a nice guy but still.....
The 8 or 9 of us get together each month and with the help of George, our Treasurer, who does a real outstanding job of reporting the holdings, and our financial status, we go through our stocks in our portfolio and decide about selling a part of all of each holding---with rules I will discuss in a bit. And we entertain new names for consideration.
I guess that is what most stock clubs do lol.
I have been a member for about 22 years now---the club has been in existence for a few years before I joined. We all kick in $100/month and over the years we have had a good time which should be the major reason for having a club. Getting together, shooting the 'bull' as we say, and thinking about a rational approach to investing.
As I have discussed elsewhere, I have been greatly influenced by one of the greatest writers (IMHO) about investing William O'Neil, the publisher of my favorite newspaper the Investor's Business Daily, and author of another of my favorite books, How to Make Money in Stocks.
I like to joke that I have a simple stock profile that I like, one with a chart that is 'lower on the left and higher on the right'!
But seriously, when one puts together a portfolio of stocks, one needs to 'manage' the portfolio. If I am to continue my comparison schtick, then I would say we need to think of our portfolio like a horse race investor with a herd of horses. We need to concentrate on owning the horses that win races and sell (or send off to pasture) the horses that falter, that do not perform like we would like.
O'Neil likes to compare it to putting together a garden, pull the weeds not the flowers.
I get it. Most investors I suspect don't.
None of us are that smart. We make mistakes. Often many mistakes. But what distinguishes a winning strategy in investing is the ability to recognize your mistakes.
The stock market makes it very easy to recognize mistakes. Investments that lose money for you are mistakes. Investments that appreciate in price are successes.
It really is that simple.
What is so difficult is implementing that strategy.
Start off by realizing that success in investing is purchasing shares at a given price and seeing them go to a higher price sometime in the future. Success isn't being smarter than everyone and seeing the potential in a stock that you have purchased and had the price decline because you are smarter and know that eventually the price will rise showing how smart you really were and besides you haven't lost money until you actually sell shares.
I have believed all of those things in the past.
Being smart is having a limit of your tolerance for losses. For O'Neill and the CANSLIM strategy that he advocates for and that has become integrated into my own thinking more or less, an 8% loss or decline in a stock price after a purchase is enough to trigger a sale. Sometimes I use a dollar amount like $100 and if I lose that much (usually on about a $2500 or $3000 purchase) I part ways with that stock.
The most important things is to limit your losses so that bad purchase decisions don't go from small errors to major catastrophes.
Save your capital for another purchase.
If the entire market is in a correction, then pause before re-investing those proceeds. You certainly don't want to compound your losses in a declining market.
Because as O'Neil points out (no I don't get paid by the O'Neil company---I am just a big fan of rational investment strategy)--the Market (the M in CANSLIM) determines a big portion of the stock price movement of all shares. Like the sea that moves ships up and down with the tide--virtually all shares move either higher or lower based on the overall market.
Gosh I have already written a lot and I have hardly gotten into this subject. Please let me know if I am boring any of you but clearly after not blogging for quite awhile, I have a lot to say and share with all of you. (are there readers out there who are interested what I have to say I wonder?)
So we sell our losing stocks quickly.
And what about our gaining stocks? In our stock club when we first purchase shares we sort of dip our toes in the water making about a 1/4th sized investment in a new idea. We really try to have that stock essentially prove itself before making it a full-size holding.
How do we do that?
Generally we try to let the stock appreciate a given percent. Sometimes about 10 or 15% to the upside before we decide that it is a good idea and then commit funds to bring it up to a full position.
What is our 'full position' size? It used to literally be $10,000---over the years the size of our whole portfolio has grown and we now consider $20,000 to be a full position. Of course if your portfolio, or your stock club's portfolio, is smaller or larger that position would be a different $ amount. You see that a full position for us has nothing to do with the number of shares but the value of that holding.
I hope you are still with me.
We have chosen to sell portions of our holdings, maybe about 1/6th of a holding, when a stock appreciates about 30%. Then another 1/6th if it appreciates 20% or so above that and so on. Our holdings do grow in absolute size, but we like to think about our holdings as almost a fruit tree or similar that we can harvest a little many times over if we are lucky over time.
So far we have been lucky!
I do think this entry has dragged on long enough. I will write next about stock selection borrowing heavily from William O'Neil and some of my own observations from my own many years of investing experience.
Thank you for visiting again. I hope in the months ahead to invigorate my writings here and please leave any of your comments or questions in the comment section.
Yours in investing,