An investor can find and research the best stock on the market, one with huge potential but if the general market indices are negative, it will most likely be the wrong time to buy. A stock with tremendous accelerating earnings, rising sales, an up-trending chart pattern and a strong industry group may sound excellent to buy but will mean absolutely nothing if the market is positioned to move in the opposite direction of your expectations. As soon as a stock is purchased, the time comes for an investor to make a decision to hold or to sell. If the position shows a profit, hold as your judgment is correct. If the position shows a loss, cut it quickly and don’t rationalize the situation before it doubles in size. Timing will play an important role in determining if you are right or wrong.
Losers must be cut quickly, long before they materialize into enormous financial disasters. They company and stock may not be a loser but rather your timing may be premature to a strong movement, forcing you to sell on a pullback. After a stock is cut from your portfolio, the transaction must be forgotten about and eliminated from your subconscious mind and/or emotional bank. The trade must be studied to capture the true essence of your mistake but the specific security involved must be blocked from any sentimental attachments, allowing you to consider reinstating the position at a higher level. This repurchase may take place immediately or well into the future but the important fact is that you were wrong with the timing on the initial position. The timing, also known as the ‘M’ in CANSLIM by William O’Neil, may have been wrong even though all fundamental and technical criteria related to the individual stock seemed to be perfect.
A quote from the great Gerald Loeb:
“Cutting losses is the one and only rule of the markets that can be taught with the assurance that it is always the correct thing to do.”
The wisdom shared by Loeb is … Read the rest...