I’ll be the first to say that I’ve made a lot of mistakes on this journey of investing in stocks. It’s true that knowledge is power, but in the investing world, costly mistakes will lead one to financial wisdom, if those mistakes are not repeating and one learns from them.
Avoiding the Gambler’s Mindset
One thing I’ve learned is to avoid the gambler’s mindset. And extreme example of this would be to throw all your hard-earned cash into one stock, hoping the stock will suddently surge to incredible new highs.
In the real world of the stock market, it’s next to impossible to predict winners, and even when the news points to a stock’s performance intending to go up based on actual earnings reports, mergers, etc., the exact opposite will happen.
And Day Trading takes years to master, with only a small percentage having the so-called knack to handle intraday trading.
Most of the stock market newbies are better served to read and read all you can about all aspects of the stock market.
Cultivating Mindfulness and Patience
I come from a background of years of meditation and yoga. I believe it has helped me cultivate a mindset that is conducive to trading and the stresses that can develop from doing this day in, day out.
Only way I can think of when starting to trade or invest in stocks is to develop patience, do things slowly at first. For one, there are such things as HFT (high frequency trading) and algorithmic trading machines. The small time investor can’t compete with machines, so the best approach is to be patient, something the high speed machines no nothing about. Well, they are usually programmed by humans, so that could be factored in too.
Sometimes the best action is no action. That’s why the buy-and-hold strategy works well for many people. You do your homework up front… you study the company, you study the stock’s performance, you look at the technical charts and whether a stock is truly profitable or not, you study the quarterly and annual reports if you have to, and you make your decision to buy-and-hold for the long run.
Developing Basic Strategies
Some of the very basics of portfolio management include diversification and asset allocation.
Diversification is simple. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!
And at the very basic level, you want to buy stocks from different sectors: banking & finance, big tech, e-commerce, medical, etc.
You want to also study the sector itself. Like oil companies… they’ve been struggling recently. And the high flying stocks in 2020 are the so-called pandemic and stay-at-home stocks. You also want to include stocks with small, medium and large market caps. You want to mix in blue chips stocks along with growth and momentum stocks. You also want to throw in stocks that provide a decent quarterly dividend.
The idea is to mix up your portfolio so that when one sector goes down, another sector can pick up the slack. There’ll be times when momentum and growth stocks struggle and times when the blue chips will falter.
Diversification is the key to success in any stock portfolio.
Don’t Get Greedy
Greed… is one of the Seven Deadly Sins.
Don’t get greedy.
The epitome of greed when it comes to stocks is this: “I want to put all my hard-earned cash because I heard it’s going to go up big time”.
9 times out of 10, it’s a pump and dump and you lose money. Once again, that’s the Gambler’s Mindset.
Start slow. Don’t put all your money into one stock. You would logically save a big percentage of cash for emergencies anyway, or in case there is another opportunity to buy another stock. Always have at least 30% cash on hand at all times to buy stocks.
More thoughts on this later…