4/26. That’s the one day since January that, when the market closed for the day, I found myself in the green for 2016 YTD. Albeit an anemic 0.04%.
Fast forward a couple weeks to 5/11. I am now (again) down 13% YTD. Not to mention, there’s only one day since 4/26 on which I have beaten the S&P.
Earlier this year the market went through a minor correction. The S&P was down 10.5% on 2/11. I was down more like 20%, but everything was down, and I shuffled into the stocks I felt were the most under-priced.
But today the S&P is actually up 1% on the year. That makes it a lot more annoying to be 13% down (which is already pretty annoying in its own right). Yesterday was particularly frustrating, as while I was down substantially, the market gained 1.25%. It’s not like the market’s saying it doesn’t want stocks…just that it doesn’t want my stocks.
The reasons I am down this time are somewhat different. The main reason is several quarterly reports that didn’t please the market. Some of them understandably so, some of them not.
Though the reasons are different, the feelings are similar. Decisions to buy things a couple weeks ago feel stupid now. But I know that if the situation had been reversed and my stocks had gained value the last two weeks, I’d be feeling awesome.
So I guess this is just a gut check. A reminder not to feel too smart or too stupid. And especially that you just never know what the market will do. You may perceive a report as good and then value the stock more, and the share price may immediately drop. Maybe it’s now a better bargain. But it’s worth trying to figure out what the market is doing. It’s never completely irrational – it just judges differently than I do. Judging is all about taking many different factors and performing a balancing act – absolutes are usually not particularly helpful (except maybe “Never use margin”).
I’m not sure these thoughts are even helpful, but I’m going to post it anyway. If anyone’s feeling like me after earnings, maybe it will be encouraging.