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Author: globalist2013 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 35363  
Subject: Re: AMBAC 5.95% Debenture Maturity 2/28/2103 Date: 12/21/2012 3:46 PM
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Joel,

I totally agree with you that most of the time it's far better both financially and emotionally to take the loss and move on. Doing so frees up capital and clears the head. But in the case of AKF, there isn't a ready market, and the price will have to be discounted far below the probable workout range of 8.5 to 13.3 cents.

With my own positions, I've watched this movie before. The company files Ch 11 on me, and I'm stuck with dead assets. Sometimes, I've been made whole, as in, a full return of principal and every penny of accrued interest. In other cases, I heard not a word from anyone, and all my money disappeared. Most often, however, there is some type of workout, a settlement in cash and/or new debt and/or stock and/or warrants. In some cases, I was able to flip the workout for a profit , e.g., K-Mart's BK, so much so I came out ahead on the whole trade. Most of the time, however, I've taken a beating, and I expected to take a beating if the position failed. But that's also why I buy small and wide.

Yeah, setting good stops isn't easy, nor is it non-problematic. But identifying one's exit point before a position is put on is a whole lot easier than trying to unravel the mess that comes from not setting them at the getgo, and their essence is this: "At what price point do I admit I was wrong and take corrective action?"

If an investor can't identify that price *before* the position is put on, why are they going to be able to identify it once money is committed to the trade and the emotions have kicked in? To paraphrase a football coach, "Risk-management isn't everything. It is the only thing." Explicit, trailing hard stops that convert to market orders is one way to express that risk-management. However imperfect they might be, they are a whole lot better tool than whatever most investors are using, which is the lame, futile hope that "prices will come back, allowing me to get out even."

Charlie
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