OT; Newbie — still learning the ropes

Good evening,

I accidentally stumbled on this forum few weeks back, and I can say that this is the best accident I ever had :slightly_smiling_face:. I want to start by thanking Saul and other contributors of accumulating an investing treasure trove — you should all be proud of your invaluable work and commitment, and I can tell by reading the forum the real impact it had on lives of number of folks.

I have read the knowledge articles couple of times now, and I think I still need to do another couple of rounds. I am not new to investing, and have made my share of mistakes —

  1. Bought my fist stock in 1999, and lost most of money in that account in next 3-4 years. Most of the stocks I bought were recommended by friends who usually will get the secret tips from their other friends whose neighbors cousin’s girlfriend knew someone in wall street…you get the idea :grinning:. I never bothered to research about the companies except at very cursory level.
  2. Started investing in well diversified 401k from early age and my account growth is around 5-8% on average. If I feel market has gone up too much I would sell everything and go on cash for months or years sometime waiting for market to “correct”. When the market or sector (Like Energy) do crash then I would buy again and try to time the market and sell out of my position after couple of years. By sheer luck I was in cash position during two major events — 2008 financial and 2020 pandemic crash.
  3. Sometime I would buy stocks when I read a positive news about a trend/sector etc. I won’t do much research like looking into companies quarterly statement…it’s more of a gamble but I would quickly come out of the position if the stocks goes 10% up or down.
  4. I held on to 3 stocks for 10 years because a financial advisor recommended them, and I made a whopping 30%…total! Also, held on to my ESPP stocks from a company that went bankrupt due to high debt in 2009. If I had read the financials I would have sold the stocks well before they were worthless.
  5. In 2017 I sold my investment property and held on to proceeds because market was “up”…well, it didn’t come down until March this year, and that too was not because of fundamentals but pandemic.

In April this year I bought couple of premium services from Motley Fools, and even though my portfolio is doing awesome (up 30%) but I bought shares of 50 different companies. In June I discovered this Board and have started the learning journey…even implemented some of the strategies — I am down to 24 positions now, and plan to trim to 12 or so when I feel more comfortable in next few weeks/months; moved from mutual fund to stock positions in my IRA accounts.

I know it is OT but I wanted to share my experiences as I am sure other newbies could relate to some of the above, and feel comfortable to walk on a well thought out and proven Saul’s investment way.