My last update was thread 26662 on September 27. A lot has happened since then. That update had me up for the year by 26% versus the 10% for the market. Right now I’m down 15% so far in the month of October alone, versus the market being down about half that. I’m still up 8% for the year, versus the S&P at nearly flat. August was the month my IRA got it’s “second comma”, and October was not only the month the comma went away, but the balance fell below $900k even. Giant, fast drop. I moderately panicked.
In my September update I had grown myself to 48% in the high growth names, including shares of PSJ. Today I’m sitting at about 35%. For me, I think that fits my temperment much better, even though I sold some stuff at a loss (and out of emotion). I got out of NTNX (kept buying and buying as it fell, but eventually came to believe it was a falling knife. Time will tell if that sell was wise). I got out of PSTG, mostly to get out of a hardware play. And got out of AYX because I didn’t really understand what they did (side note, after going to Tableau Conference last week and seeing the Alteryx booth at the convention I now think my move was not wise). I also got out of AIEQ entirely, having lost faith in The Robot’s ability to pick stocks and beat the market by a few points per year. It was the only reason I bought it in the first place.
It was not all selling that month, however. I started dipping my toes back into REITs. They served me well in 2015, and I allocated 10% to STWD, IRM, BRX and FRT. I added to positions in MDB, NFLX and AMZN. And started positions in ANET and ILMN. Currently I still have 15% cash and trying to decide what my next moves will be.
Rather than go through each holding I want to discuss my emotions over the last few weeks. I did panic, moderately, and sold a few things that maybe I should not have. Time will tell. But I’m glad I didn’t sell everything that was high-growth as that segment was looking like an implosion. You can read articles from The Fool, or posts from Saul and others, about the world not ending, that this is normal, and it never really sinks in until you live through it yourself. It was easy to tell myself that I got in near the top, seeing little gain and lots of pain, and have that get you down. Honestly, hearing Saul talk about why this was not a time to panic didn’t feel like advice, it felt like bragging. Not trying to diss Saul (and I think he would not feel that way), but at a time of a 15% loss after crossing $1million for the first time and seeing it vanish all you want to say is “great for you, sucks for me!” But that is what panic is, its irrational thinking, which is what I was going through. The market nearly feels like it might have hit a bottom. Maybe. I’m at a balance that I have not had since APRIL. But, things do seem a little brighter than they did 2-3 weeks ago to me.
I’m still up for the year. Still beating the market by 8% for the year (for me, that is a fantastic metric to hit, even if not for many here). And I’ve learned something by fire that you just can’t learn by reading about.
And oddly, now my remaining high growth stocks are starting to recover, and its my big-cap growth names that are getting clobbered (AMZN, NFLX, NVDA). Collectively that is close to 30% of my holdings. Just goes to show me, the short term is very difficult to predict.
A few of you here took the time to email me privately and discuss what the market is doing and what my reactions to it have been. I won’t mention names, but I want to say I’m very grateful for the interaction, advice, and just listening that I’ve been given.
Looking forward to second-comma coming back to me. Hopefully soon. I’ll be serving cake when it does.