My Thumbs Down Calls

Occasionally I go back and review stocks I’ve sold or looked at and decided not to buy to see if I can learn anything from my thought process. Since i did it I figured I’d post it publicly so that I could benefit from the wisdom of the crowd and perhaps help others who are learning like me.

PIXY -… april 10th 2018. Price was 3.1 dollars, now 1.31 for a 54% decline. So far hasn’t turned out to be an outright fraud but time will tell.

ZUO -…. Jun 19th 2018. Price dropped from 37 to 35 the day I posted that ( I don’t take credit for that) and is now 20.65 for a 40ish % price drop. A few days ago on january 20th 2019 I repeated my belief that ZUO won’t be a great investment for a while.… . I don’t think we will see another 40% drop, I just think the money will be stagnant for a little while but I’m not as convinced about my second call as my june call.

VRNS - I didn’t write this one up but I sold my entire position on 10/8. Honestly I don’t think I thought VRNS would do poorly I just figured there were better places to put my money. Price I sold for was 64.08. Down 12% today to 56.

SHOP -… I posted a couple of times in the august 2018 time frame. Sold at an average price of 144ish. Now at 166 for a 15% increase. I still agree with all the reasons I listed. That money went into UBNT at 55, now 120ish, VCEL at 10, now 18ish. PSTG at 25, now 19 (i got out at 22). ZS at 43 now 50ish, and NTNX at 53, now 53.7. SQ at 66, now 75, Overall a win.

PVTL -… 9/13/2018. I sold at an average price of 22. Now 19. When it dropped to 15 I almost bought back in. At this point I think PVTL will probably be a fine investment but I’m shooting for excellent investments…not “fine”.

NVDA - I know i posted something but I can’t seem to find it. Sold everything on 11/16 for 163 now at 150. Don’t regret it. NVDA and I have a love hate relationship. I seem to Love nvidia at the wrong times. I owned it at 15 to 20 back in 2015 and sold it before it promptly went up to 260!!! Over the next 2.5 years. I bought it at 150, 190 and 220. Sold it at 163. If i start talking about NVDA again just do the opposite of what I do.

I’m sure there are others sells or “do not buy” decisions I’ve made but these are the ones I did in public and were/are followed on this board.

Saul et al taught me selling or not buying is just as important as buying. One of my major issues with TMF was the lack of a thought process around selling. I understand why they have the ethos they have. I think it makes a lot of sense to have a LTBH when most people that use your service are novice investors and are just following your newsletter recommendations. However as I’ve moved past that stage of investing I’ve really focused on narrowing my portfolio and only swinging at the fat pitches. I’m pleased with the progress i’ve made on the sell side.

Good returns to all!


Ethan - I think that’s a very healthy exercise to undertake. I was actually thinking about something similar today when I came across this post.

Whilst Saul is looking to enter an investment and whilst constantly evaluating not exit until the story starts to change (modified buy and hold), he is able to make cold, hard, ruthless and fast decisions on entering/exiting positions; I know whilst I might not fall in love with stocks I might become attached and hold when I should be selling. (Which is the whole get off the bus that you boarded as soon as you realise it is the wrong bus headed in the wrong direction or its ok to be wrong but not ok to stay wrong stance).

I sometimes feel it is helpful to challenge why holdings should stay in ones portfolio as opposed to why not (given that I feel a bias to hold rather than sell) or at least look back and learn from when I didn’t buy or when I did sell a stock - which is what you have done here.

Thanks for the interesting effort on this. I thought the rationale you gave on each of this was as much if not more important than the numbers.