Posted Monday, January 3, 2005
Don't Fall in Love with You're Stocks(Collect a Free EBOOK - see website)
It appears that I have a dislike for admitting that I could ever get it wrong and this explains why I sometimes can't take a loss. On the other side of the equation: if I was wrong and XYZ was not going to make me a fortune - then what could I do?
Okay I spotted one of my stocks in the "Shares" magazine - I confess! I was just reading about all the up-and-coming stars and there was this little snippet asking a question like: "Could this be a new Microsoft?". Now they may not have said that exactly, but it was enough to make me think XYZ was a good news story as its price will testify - at the time(in the 70's ). I mean it was there - it had to have some merit!
It was a miner and had a technology company in its portfolio and a percentage of another tech company and was doing very little in the resources area because there was more hype in tech shares at the time. It was a time when many miners were turning into tech companies. Can you visualize the miners making their way to the goldfields?
Well I was right into that - so I bought heaps and the crazy part was that I was not going to sell something that had such a great future. Nearly $60 000 went into this company and I've still got it. Not because I am still in love, but because it's nearly worthless. It will be a reminder to me never to do that again!
How much is this RULE really worth to me? That's simple - without counting any other stock in my tech-wrecked portfolio, this RULE is worth $59 494.45 saved.
If I just add one more, an online retailer, which cost me $69 928.20, my total saving would be $129 422.65. So if someone had given me the above rule to live by, I could have sold out early and kept most of $129 000.
The unloved by the market, which included many of my startups have plummeted since the tech boom - some went up like shooting starts, only to be blasted to pieces and fall back to Earth. You won't get directors coming out to say that the market has put an outrageous price on this company or that one, and that really, there is no substance to back up the price. However someone will notice that the king is really naked and when they do there is no mercy from the crowd.
I have heard say, "The market is always right", and maybe it's not a bad one to remember. Those that didn't participate in the tech boom will have lost considerable money and those that fell in love with the naked royalty will have lost their shirts.
Does it hurt? You bet it does! It hurts every day, but it will get better one day - I hope! It was a great experience, even though it was a painful one. Now it is you, the reader, who stands to benefit from my mistakes; which increases the value of such insights and will make this book probably the most treasured book about the market's affect on individuals' psychology and an awesome reminder of the pitfalls of sharemarket speculation.
Do I think that I'm the worst case? NO WAY!! You only have to look back in time to see what companies, underwriters and well-established financial houses paid for software companies and internet security companies - even our beloved Telstra(using the taxpayer's wealth) suffered its billion dollar nightmares, not to mention News Corp's businesses going bust. The bigger they are the harder they have fallen: Enron, Vivendi, Worldcom and others handing over billions as if there was no tomorrow. Well now the penny has well and truly dropped as these huge gorillas fight for their survival under a pile of debt and scandal. Nope...I'm in good company. The scandals and falls since June 2002 have certainly been enough to scare me. We live in hope that we don't end up with a depression and that the losses of up to $US8 trillion at the time of writing, are finally stemmed without bringing the whole financial system to its knees.
How many lucky devils bought News Corp at $26 and how many have watched the decent to $8.46? Losing $12 billion in one year only makes people want to own it, pushing the price from below $9.50 back up to above $10.50.
The market lurches from drunken stupor to bottomless pit of despair - it's easy to get it wrong on any day!
In sharemarket trading you live and die by your trading plan - so experiment by all means but at some stage you will need trading rules to live by. The market can leave you behind. It has a way of changing faster than you can. It does its time as a bull and then becomes a bear and in the same breath will do an about face and scream to a high, leaving your position in the red, when everything you know tells you that the market for that stock should not behave that way. You keep screaming ...BUT IT'S A LOSER!!!!!! Stock punters just ignore you, pushing the dog of a stock higher, after losses counted in billions of Australian dollars and a weaker quarterly profit. Who really cares? Emotion carries the market higher until once again the profit takers come in and sell the highs.
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About the Author
Joseph Sgro was born in Western Australia with a hunger to become a millionaire(a Wild Colonial Boy at heart). Classroom teacher with 15 years and sharemarket trading experience of 16 years culminated in a portfolio of over $700 000 and a serious turn for the worst in March 2000. This turn of fortune gave rise to much analysis and a desire to learn what went wrong.