Even if you screened "individual stocks" by "small market" or "large cap" (or introduced other classes such as REITs) you would always find yourself wondering why they did so well before, and now that you own them, they're not doing so well anymore.It is, I think, because of the herd mentality of investors - including those running mutual funds - that "hey look, that's successful, I better buy some of that", only to find out that it's already had its run, and you're just a little late to catch the train. That is why I said paper trading might not capture the full emotions that go through the mind when it is happening to a real money account. I would love to be less emotional when investing in the market, but that takes time to get the experience. With the OP thinking of starting to investing, there is a huge learning curve, plus he doesn't really have the same luxury of time he would have had if he started earlier. Sure, the portfolio may start out larger than most, but can the OP keep their emotions steady if the portfolio goes down 10%, 15%, or more?
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