Hah. Trailing stops maybe…? And earnings. Hate them with a passion.
I don’t use them. I use mental ones. When I saw DVAX starting to drop thought ‘okay, gap fill, I’ll deal with it’. Now it’s lower but I am still dealing with it. The post was not meant to belly ache, just show what in hindsight is a decision I would undo if I could undo it from well higher than here.
It’s horrible. Shouldn’t have to buy and sell with hair-splitting accuracy to keep some profits and sanity, but as you yourself say, it is what it is. Sucks mightily.
As part of a portfolio that is high in cash it’s really no big deal. Just unexpected and frustrating in that way.
We’ve all been there. Mine was NSRPF which rocket to 7 bucks – thought I was going to get rich – now worth a quarter + a dime.
These days I use trailing stop percentage orders …
And then there is the likes of ISRG, of which I owned 1000 shares but sold about 20 years ago. That story is actually part of why I’ve held DVAX (not at all related, but generally a lesson to maybe hold one or two items long-term). I think DVAX has good growth potential over the coming years or else I’d have sold much like TWST, which IMO is still in the ‘story stock’ category. But WTFDIK?
The other thing going on is psychological. I’ve traded DVAX successfully several times so I don’t have a negative psych profile with it, giving me more patience. Ah, investors…
I am learning the psychology is 95% of trading. I can use pretty much any canned MA crossover, MACD, SMA, volume, this indicator, that indicator, whatever. But once you get that signal or crossover and take the trade, that’s where it starts getting hard. Moves seem to almost always happen against your position immediately!
I am looking back at some recent trades where I got stopped out, or took profits.
1) Based off basic rules, like an MA crossover and upsloping MA lines, I should have never taken most of the trades! A lot has been bottom fishing and in this market, that is simply nuts. I’m not looking for 100% win rate, but starting out with a terrible entry isn’t smart. How often I can bottom feed TLT and get burned, jeez louise.2) Where the trades were good, I trailed a stop up with the rise in price. I see very little downside to doing this. I believe over time this will get you out much nearer to peaks than most any other method.3) Earnings and individual stocks. (BTW I was the anonymous first posting, don’t know why). I have to slap myself again as to why would I trade individual stocks given my nature? I hate earnings day. Could be a blowout, and get slammed because forecast is bad. Could be terrible and go up because forecast is good. I see holding through earnings as total gambling. Only major sector ETFs for me from now on.4) Stop losses. Saved my ass and kept me level headed multiple times. I go back and look at the stocks I was stopped out of and only one is higher than where I was stopped out at. No brainer for me, personally.
My three cents.
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