I’ve Got a Lot to Learn

Today was one of those learning days for me. Right now I feel a profound sense of frustration at myself and only myself. Since the start of the year, I’ve begun doing many new things including investing in stocks, investing in lending to others through Prosper.com and LendingClub.com, working on my own computer game, and in general, trying to be a good father and husband for my family. Today, however, I made a mistake.

Investing Mistakes

I’ve made many mistakes investing in stocks – all of which are emotionally based. I actually do pretty good coming up with decent value propositions and what I think are good buying points on stocks. Most of my money lost investing in stocks was a penny stock whim a few years ago where I lost a couple thousand dollars – a completely emotional and irrational decision.

I started this year with some good stocks picks in Canadian Energy (PWE, PGH), Oil (MVO), Food (MCD – McDonalds), and the mREIT (AGNC). After researching and talking with others, I sold all my positions a month ago as the market appeared to be headed downard. I bought back into more stocks, including a hefty position into AGNC a couple weeks ago.

However, I sold my position in AGNC at open of market today after seeing the international markets take an extreme beating last night. I felt like my investment was truly at risk due to rising interest rates and reading others saying the mREIT and REIT sector AGNC is involved in could be in big trouble. I sold at a loss to the tune of 8%, wiping out my 6% gain from earlier in the year and then some.

Today, AGNC (and many other stocks) are up high. I feel a case of, “Why did I do that?” in hind sight now. My strategy for buying AGNC was that I felt it was at a discount and the dividend was going to be kept up. The market certainly agrees with my value proposition and disagrees with my early sell of the stock.

Moving Forward

Don’t I wish there was a “Load Saved Game” button like computer games have? I could go back and not sell this morning! But life is like that – you get one shot at any given moment and sometimes it works out and sometimes id does not.

I think moving forward, I just have to lick my wounds and keep swinging the bat with what I think are good stock picks and make what I think are appropriate decisions based on how I feel the market and world economy is going. I can only fault myself for making a rash decision instead of waiting to see how things played out today before doing such a quick sell. In the future, I will look to be more calculated and slow to react. Thanks for letting me share a few thoughts about my mistake investing today.

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5 thoughts on “I’ve Got a Lot to Learn

  1. I think for the most part a lot of us have been there. I don’t really move around with the stocks anymore unless they become dogs and I just need to get out of them. Instead I buy low and keep increasing my position if I believe in the fundamentals of the company. As I start to profit I trim some off the top to take profits. At least if the stock dips I made some money and have cash reserves to buy in at a lower price. A load save game would be nice though.

  2. Thomas, that is what I am realizing is to find companies/stocks I think are a good buy and just have the emotional stability to hold them and if they go down, have cash reserves to cost average myself in. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Jeremy, you shouldn’t beat yourself up over things like that.
    I’m at a break even point since I purchased my shares in AGNC after having accidentally sold them off in the high $32 range – the accident was merely choosing sell instead of stop-loss, DOH! I’m keeping hold of the shares I have but diversifying in the next month or so into SDRL or something else since my portfolio outside of my 401K is heavy in AGNC.

    1. I did use AGNC and the dividends for the past 2-3 years to boost my entire portfolio considerably because of my sell/buy scheme on AGNC and a couple other stocks. That’s after having bought some BRK.B before the split and having a zero net gain after about 2 years with that stock.

      I try not to care that I could have made $x more if I kept a particular stock as long as I made a decent profit with it.

      So we all live and learn. And looking at the bright side, you only had a 2% loss, it could have been MUCH worse.
      Take care!

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