Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hindsight is 20/20

I'm going in a different direction with my post today because I want to highlight a fact of life that all investors will have to deal with at one time or another: hindsight is 20/20. I have a couple of individual stocks - "legacy holdings" - that I've held since I was younger and before I knew about the virtues of index funds. I'm gradually selling them off to move all of my holdings into index funds and one of my holdings is up roughly 30% since I sold it. For a New York minute, I was kicking myself for leaving money on the table but this is precisely why individual stock picking is generally a bad idea: we get greedy and this results in market timing.

Sure, the stock is up 30% but it could just as easily have been down that amount. This brings me to an important point: when you sell a stock, fund, or otherwise make any investment decision, let that be the end of it. It's easy to play games of what if but that won't change the fact that you made the decision you did. Be at peace with your decisions.

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