I’ve made a table showing how the stocks I’ve sold have performed since I sold them. Five out of the six stocks that were sold since I started this portfolio are down from the price I sold them at which makes me feel good about the decisions I am making.
|Stock||# of Shares||Sell Price||Price Now||Difference||Gain/Loss|
Obviously, I regret selling Facebook but overall if I still owned all the stocks listed above, my portfolio would be down $6,435 from where it is today.
HPQ, CHL, YHOO, and CHK were all sold because of deteriorating factors in their businesses or because the reason(s) I bought the stocks were no longer valid. So far I have been correct about all of them as the stocks have all performed poorly.
The other two (UA and FB), were sold because the stock market was extremely volatile and I wanted to lock in my gains on the stocks that I believed to be overvalued or fully valued (high P/E). In each case I stated that I hated to sell the stock but felt it was the correct defensive play. I really did hate to sell them because they both have GREAT businesses. So far, Under Armour has held up well while Facebook has recently hit new highs.
I want to emphasize that my experience selling UA and FB shows how difficult it is to “time the market” or a stock. It is common to hear people say, “just sell a stock, lock in the gains, and get back in when it goes lower”. But that is VERY difficult to do because figuring out when to get back in can be darn near impossible, especially if the stock you sell doesn’t go down appreciably from the price you sold it at.
After I sold them, both UA and FB did go lower than my sell prices but not low enough for me to comfortably get back in. Also, they didnt stay below my sell price for very long so I didn’t have much time to act. So, here I sit owning neither stock and wishing I did.