Trading Stocks ?Never Forget About A Past Trade

We all know that emotions control every decision that an investor makes in any type of money related vehicle. Whether is be the stock market, real estate, art work or antiques, emotions ultimately set the final price on both sides of the transaction. Some investors have greater control over their emotions while other investors are destroyed by their emotional reactions to certain events.

One common occurrence that I have seen many investors make, including myself, is placing a position in a stock at the wrong time. My last article detailed the importance of timing, while this article will concentrate on the importance of staying focused and emotionally stable when things don't work out as expected. In the past, I would study a stock's chart, the fundamentals, the general market health and everything else that I felt necessary before placing a large sum of cash behind my beliefs. When things went wrong and I was forced to sell for a small loss, I would drop the stock from my watch lists and remove it from my memory. This was one of the biggest mistakes that I was making during my earlier years of investing. The greatest investors study their mistakes and learn why they were wrong. If you don't learn from your mistakes, you will continue to repeat them and never move to the next level.

I was usually correct with my analysis on the particular stock but many times I was too early with my entry point during a new up-trend. Months later, I would come across the same stock in my screens but it was now up 25%, 50% or more from my initial buy point and stop loss. I would be frustrated for selling my stock too soon and was getting tired of using rules and missing big winners that I sold for a loss. I knew money could be made in Wall Street by using the law of averages to my advantage and employing strong money management skills but I needed to employ the rules more consistently. I started to practice what I was taught by selling my losers quickly and allowing my stronger stocks to ride their trends. Over time, I was experiencing a few more losers than winners but my stake was growing because these losers were smaller in size than the winners. The words written in the books were true; Jesse Livermore, Gerald Loeb and William O'Neil were all accurate with their lessons about cutting losses quickly.

More importantly, I learned to keep strong stocks on my radar even if I bought too soon and was forced to sell for a loss. My timing was wrong and my ego was shot because I was wrong, so I typically decided to stay away from that specific stock because it had already taken my cash and my pride. Emotionally, I was burned by the stock even though this was not entirely true. Investing is a game of trial and error. It is okay to buy a stock at the wrong time and sell, only to buy it again because they timing may be better. If you cut the losses small and allow winners to grow, the averages will ALWAYS work out, I promise. You must be honest with yourself to allow the averages to work out. You cannot allow a stock to drop past your sell point and you must try to always hold the strongest stocks without selling them during a premature pullback. This all sounds so easy but it is not! If it was so easy, we would all be extremely rich and the stock market would be everyone's full time job.

I kept using my system of trial and error and started to record every thought and transaction I made. With my revised philosophy in place; I continued to study the stocks that I was forced to sell and tried my best to re-purchase, even at higher prices than my original position if the time was right. Even now I have these issues, the greatest traders of all time always had these issues and every fund manager must decide if the time is right. My latest example, which can relate to almost everyone in the community is Paincare Holdings, a stock that was purchased solely as a "test buy" that I was forced to sell. If things turn around and the general market starts to rally, I would have no problem buying the stock at a higher price than my original position if the opportunity presents itself.

LaBarge is another example, first showing up on the screens at $9.35 but during a down-trending market. The new pivot point and buy area was $14, over 50% higher than the original price but a solid entry point regardless of past gains or prices. Mentally it is always the toughest to buy a stock at a higher price than you were watching it at an earlier date but it can be the most rewarding strategy. Never look at a chart and toss away a candidate because it has moved up 50% or even doubled in recent months, the real move may just be beginning.

The moral of this article is to make you understand that timing may be your only issue when buying stocks so never throw away a possible superstar because you bought too soon. Keep it on your watch list and be prepared to initiate another position, even if it will cost you an extra point or two. If you buy again and it doesn't work out, re-peat the process, there is always a chance that the stock was not meant to be or your analysis was slightly faulty. In either case, learn what you are doing right and wrong so you can be prepared to use those lessons with the next stock.

Chris Perruna - http://www.marketstockwatch.com

Chris is the founder and president of MarketStockWatch.com, an internet community that teaches you how to invest your money with solid rules. We don't stop at just showing you our daily and weekly screens, we teach you how to make you own screens through education. Through our philosophy, you will be able to create your own methods and styles to become successful.

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Value focussed MF are cutting their exposure to Indian stocks. What about you?  Moneycontrol.comAs valuations climb, the funds have chosen to stay light on Indian stocks and exposure to bonds and arbitrage has gone up.
Investing in mutual funds? Diversify to reduce risks and enhance returns  Moneycontrol.comIn the worst of the times for stock markets, individuals invested across the asset classes are less hit as compared to investors betting all their money on stocks.
Top 10 large, mid and smallcap stocks which fund managers bought & sold in September  Moneycontrol.comFears of a liquidity crunch following the IL&FS crisis hit the mutual fund industry in September. Cash plans, or liquid funds, were the worst hit.
These 10 stocks make up over one-third of entire mutual fund portfolio in India; check full list  The Financial ExpressEven as Sensex and Nifty continue their strong rally driven by a cheer in blue chip stocks, just 10 top names make up a whopping 34% of the entire mutual fund ...
How do mutual funds help you to invest better?  Moneycontrol.comMutual funds can provide you products that can meet your financial goals with relatively lesser risk.
Should you shift from large-cap mutual funds to index funds?  Economic TimesThe index fund category of mutual fund schemes is slowly gaining traction among investors. The fortunes of index funds are changing as not only are they being ...
These 18 consistent mutual funds may help you to beat stock market volatility  Economic TimesMany equity mutual fund advisors abhor volatility in the stock market. They are always searching for ways to tackle this beast which gives them sleepless nights.
Mutual funds data show market is running out of fuel  Moneycontrol.comThe sharp fall in net equity mutual fund inflows in December 2018 is a cause of worry.
How much do mutual fund managers invest in their own schemes?  Moneycontrol.comEver since SEBI mandated mutual fund houses to disclose how much fund managers, directors of the asset management company and other key employees ...
India is set for a good run in 2019, says Reliance Mutual Fund  Moneycontrol.comManish Gunwani, CIO-Equity at Reliance MF, the market is positioned well in terms of valuation and macros.
Best large cap mutual funds to invest in 2019  Economic TimesHere's a monthly update on our recommended large cap mutual funds to invest in 2019. The good news is that there is no change in the recommendations.
Some international funds are giving around 40% returns. Should you invest?  Economic TimesInternational mutual funds are topping the return charts. The category has returned around 20 per cent in one year. Should retail investors bet on these schemes ...
Here are top buys and sells by mutual funds in August when Sensex, Nifty hit record highs  Moneycontrol.comAmong largecaps, HDFC AMC, Sun TV Network, TVS Motor, Vedanta and Tech Mahindra topped the August buying list of top 10 mutual fund houses which ...
Quick Take | Covered calls for mutual funds will help stabilise NAV fluctuations  Moneycontrol.comAllowing mutual funds to participate in the options market will bring more liquidity to stock options and stabilise returns for the fund.
Planning an SIP in mutual funds? Keep these things in mind  Moneycontrol.comYou should identify a fund which has not only performed well when the markets are rising but also tackled the tides of a falling market and has controlled losses.

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