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Hello Fellow Fools,

I am one of those people who constantly looks at my positions every single day multiple times a day. When my positions are having a great day I'm feeling good and when they are down my demeanor is right there with them.

Thankfully I continue to tell myself that every smart investor holds for at least a year and most hold for several years.

I'm curious if anyone else is like me, constantly checking their positions and feeling the ups and downs. How do you get away from looking at your portfolio every single day and how do you avoid selling when a position is taking a beating?

As well, what indicators do you look for to break the hold and actually sell a position?
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zkouba,

You're an engineer and you can't figure out a mechanical, disciplined way to track and manage a tiny portfolio of a dozen stocks? Holy smokes. SJSU has a better rep than that.

Since you describe yourself as LT B&H investor, you've got NO BUSINESS at all looking at what you own more than once a week, and then only on the weekend after markets are closed and the daily hysteria has died down. Seriously, if something needs taking care off, checking on it once a week will catch it in plenty of time.

Second, don't try to get fancy with a bunch of technical indicators. They are useful tools, but they have no predictive power, since they are derivatives of price and/or volume. What a well-built chart can do is summarize at a glance what's going on. So, do this. Register for free account at www.barchart.com. Create a watchlist that tracks the stocks you own. Set up a chart template that uses weekly, Heikin-Ashi bars with a 1-year lookback. Add a pair of moving averages and the StochRSI indicator. That's all you need. Then, once a week, review the charts, pull news for the companies. If nothing merits attention, close the screen, and go for a walk or bike ride.

By PM, I'll send you a sample chart. Meanwhile, get a life apart from markets.

Arindam
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Hi zkouba -

Welcome to The Motley Fool. We’re glad you’re here and taking part in the conversation.

When it comes to managing emotions, what I find useful is to remember that a share of stock represents nothing more the an ownership stake in a business. While the market may wildly change the price of that stock throughout the day and week, the underlying value it has is based on that company’s ability to generate cash over time. That helps ground me to the fundamental reality behind the stock rather than the minute-by-minute machinations of the market movements.

In addition to helping me ride the daily swings, it helps me make smarter investing decisions with my own money. By comparing the market’s price to an estimate of the company’s underlying value, it can help me decide whether I think the stock falling means it’s becoming a better value worthy of buying more of or whether it’s a sign that the market is recognizing a broken thesis and that it’s time to sell.

My oldest son is just starting out investing. Yesterday, one of the ‘story stocks’ he owns fell significantly when a key aspect of the story behind it didn’t work out. My guidance to him was to evaluate the company based on the new reality and decide whether the parts of the story that still remain active are worth what the market is pricing the stock at today.

Regards,
-Chuck
Discovery/HR Home Fool
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Hey zkouba!

You wrote How do you get away from looking at your portfolio every single day and how do you avoid selling when a position is taking a beating?

That's when you should buy more - especially during a general market down day or two.

Best,
Rich (haywool) noting the market is up this morning
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You wrote How do you get away from looking at your portfolio every single day and how do you avoid selling when a position is taking a beating?

That's when you should buy more - especially during a general market down day or two.


Are you sure? In late 1929, the stock market was taking a beating, but lacking a crystal ball, it was not the time to buy more and the market kept falling until 1932, and never really recovered until after WW-II.
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Hi Chuck,

Thank you for taking the time to share. This is great advice.

Sticking to investigating the underlying value of a company and focusing on those changes instead of daily fluctuations in stock prices is a good method to keep my emotions in check.

Appreciate you sharing your knowledge & experiences.

Regards,
Zack
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I find myself doing the same thing but mostly just out of beginners curiosity. I enjoy seeing the ups and downs. Being less emotional about it would be beneficial for the long run.

In about two months time, I've amassed a portfolio of 40 stocks. I may downgrade it to 25-30 in the next few months depending on recommendations from the Fool. Most of my stocks are fractions so I am looking forward to putting more money into them monthly.

Overall, this experience is a lot of fun and I have a goal right now to manage a portfolio of over $100,000 within 10 years. I am currently 37 years old and have the option to retire within five years but I will most likely keep working to keep pushing money into my stocks.
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