Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 15
not much happening - more or less in line with the SP500. Who knows about next 2 weeks.

Biggest Winners - Percentage Amount
1 - Columbia Sportswear - good timing on my part
2 - Catamaran Corp - pure luck - got a bid soon after my buy
3 - Diamond Hill - a good pick on my part; a winner in a sea of losers
4-5 - Nobilis Heath and Patient Home Monitoring - dinks based on Doneville that I sold after further research - pure luck.

Biggest Winners - Dollar Amount
1 - Columbia Sportswear
2 - Catamaran
3 - Diamond Hill
4 - Enghouse - a loser of a winner; I bot originally at $8 and sold much at $12 to $15. Stock is $75.60 CAD now
5 - Google - another loser of a winner; if I just leave this alone, a very logical course of action, then the gain is 3x more and adds 1 to 2% to my returns

Biggest Losers - Percentage Amount
1 - Biosyent - biggest winner previous year; story still ongoing
2 - Cipher - mentioned before; there was a report after they did the acquisition and if I'd seen it perhaps I would have sold, but I didn't see it; story ongoing
3 - DSW - just didn't work out; should have cut my losses earlier when they had an obvious inventory build
4 - Finish Line - really awful timing - really awful - I resisted so long and then gave in then -POW!- it got beat down
5 - Reitmans (Canada) - crushed but ongoing

Biggest Losers - Dollar Amount
1 - Bioysent
2 - Berkshire Hathaway - small loss on a larger position; tough picks and some economic sensitivity; looking further at PCP makes me feel better about that pick but his age has to be an issue
3 - Cipher
4 - DSW
5 - JNJ - a puzzler. Was a very profitable position before but if I'd simply held the position vs. selling and buying back would have been profitable.

Hit Rate - Profitable vs Unprofitable
53% - this is ok; SP is down this year and other indexes are down more


Observations from Losers and Winners

*Biggest Mistakes this year - totally subjective

1 - Selling Google. I think perhaps the one completely irrational decision this year that still seems incredible to me, though it seemed rational at the time. Thing is, I made this mistake no less than three different times, treating it as a trading position even though I knew it wasn't. I think sometimes I forget these aren't no-moat companies you need to trade, but I've spent a lot of time and agony trying to figure out how to avoid this in the future. I think determining holding periods for certain stocks up-front is key, but you have to avoid intra-day drama which lets emotion kill reason. My wife told me I was just rattled. Rattled. Think about that. I've changed multiple things in response to this, including a) removing my personal portfolio net worth from immediate view, 2) removing specific stock price action from my immediate view unless accompanied by valuation data, c) altering how many times and what circumstance I allow myself to trade during the day, and d) being a big more dogmatic on trading sizes, esp. for larger positions. We'l see.

2 - Stupid sell of GGN-B. Thanks Hacker for pointing out this had a mandatory redemption for certain circumstances as I was imaging greater risk than actually existed.

*Losers that could have been winners - totally subjective

Earlier Sells of Larger positions that could have been profitable if I'd held them longer - HRB, JNJ, and MRKT. These don't bother me overly much - HRB was just poor timing on my part but the rise was somewhat unmerited IMO, JNJ actually feel strongly after my sell before reversing itself, and MRKT has an option problem I couldn't live with.

*all in all, a very unremarkable year
Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.