What was your best decision - 2015?

I’m curious about this. What was your smartest investment move in 2015? And if you want, your dumbest.

Now I know a year is short and we measure our results in the very long term. I’m just curious if anyone did anything especially bright that we can learn from. :slight_smile:

I’ll have to meditate on this one myself.



Best move: found this board
Worst: Still holding worthless position in WPRT just in case :wink:


Best Move: Started taking investing more seriously, including finding this board.

Worst Move: Held Micron when it doubled, watched it fall all the way to 15$ and sold it there at a massive loss. The worst part of that is, I still have no idea why it fell at all. That fact inspired me to take investing more seriously and keep up to date with my companies.


At least five Bad moves by me this year:

  1. Still holding onto WFM that I bought in late 2013. I bought this turkey (GMO free didn’t help) in an IRA account, and so didn’t sell it sooner since there is no tax loss harvesting. I have promised myself to sell it when the next great idea comes along and I need the funds. I now feel TMF was wrong to have recommended it, and I think ethically TMF should never recommend (or short) the stocks of companies which its Board of Directors operate - they should just recuse themselves completely.

  2. Held onto DDD far too long. At one point (end of 2013) DDD was over a 4-bagger for me. I sold it last year for a 7% profit. I know many Fools suffered far worse. I feel TMF let me down on when to sell on this one.

  3. Held PZZA too long. It’s still a 3.5 bagger for me, but it was much more. TMF did issue a part sell before the dip, so this one is totally on me. I think this should bounce back.

  4. Bought FEYE on TMF re-recommendation (my first), and then it dropped very soon thereafter. Not much to learn here. I recently bought some more to average down as I still believe in the company.

  5. Sold LNKD before the 2014 Q4 earnings. It had spooked me earlier. I still made a decent LTCG on it, but I should have had more faith in company management.

Some Good moves:

  1. Still holding onto AGN (Allergan). I bought this as Watson Pharma during the 2009 crises and it’s now a 9.5 bagger for me, pretty steadily rising.

  2. Bought more Arista. The Cisco lawsuit shows how scared they are of ANET, and even if the lawsuit goes against ANET, by then they’ll have changed the API and worked around the other patent claims. The trend of Software Defined Networking is very real and won’t be stopped by giant sloths using the legal system instead of investing in the future. This trend will be yet another appendix entry in a future edition of “The Innovator’s Dilemma” in my opinion.

  3. Sold some TSLA at the recent ATH to buy myself some things I had been putting off. Maybe this should be in the Bad moves column since I didn’t sell nearly enough considering how far it subsequently dropped and how much of my portfolio TSLA remains. But, I believe the doubters are wrong: Model X is going to more successful than Model S (cheap gas and competition noise notwithstanding), and so my prediction is that TSLA will crack $300 by year’s end. You heard it here first, folks. ;^)

  4. I’m now an Independent Contractor with a steady gig that’s paying really well (and has tax write-offbenefits), so I’m continuously putting additional money into my investment accounts instead of spending it.


Best decision in 2015;

Realizing and remembering that my stock picking abilities are “not all that good”. Therefore about two years ago I placed 80% of my portfolio in what I view as stalwart equities such as JNJ, BRK.B, BAM, MKL, etc. This leaves me only 20% to play with.
Also, I have noted that the more active I am in changing up my holdings the worse my performance tends to be. I often caught myself selling good stocks for poor reasons and therefore hurting my long term performance.
My performance this year was negative 1.52% bringing my 5 year performance down to 8.5%.
I have learned also some painful lessons about chasing high yield low quality stocks that has hurt my performance.
Wish you the best in 2016!


Worst decision-staying in 3D stocks until a large part of my gains was lost i.e. DDD and SSYS.

Best decision-staying in NFLX. The fundamentals for this stock scare me and it is my biggest position. I am going to trim a little now that we are in 2016.

2nd worst decision-not selling a stock because of tax consequences.I would have sold some AMBA much higher but did not want the capital gains in 2015. I lost more by holding on to all of it.

Live and learn each day!



2nd worst decision-not selling a stock because of tax consequences.

Yeah, I learned that one the hard way, too. The worst difference between short term and long term gains is, what 19.6%? I’d rather keep 60.4% of a lot than 80% of a little.


Worst decision-staying in 3D stocks until a large part of my gains was lost i.e. DDD and SSYS.

Best decision-staying in NFLX.


The longer I have been investing “seriously” the more brutal that I’ve become about ripping off the bandage and selling a position that I’ve lost faith in. In that way, I closed my last 3D position a year and a half ago, when I did a major housecleaning. But even with such a perspective, you’re never going to be right all of the time … I’m still wrestling with whether or not I still believe in AMBA, CMG, and SWKS, and I still hold positions in my 2 biggest losers of 2015, ZG and CPA. But I’m trying to focus solely on the fundamentals and not on my past performance nor any recent share price changes as I perform a year-end review this weekend.

In the case of AMBA, for the moment, I still have faith, and therefore I’m not concerned about any potential tax issues. I made enough this year that I’ll be paying a decent amount of taxes on closed positions (I earned 25% in my 2 brokerage accounts), but I very strongly believe that that’s a very good problem to have. As to AMBA, I’m not ready to give up on it yet, and therefore the tax implications are totally secondary to me. For anybody else struggling with the tax issue, one thing to consider is when a particular company will next be reporting earnings … if it’s not until after February 1, then closing an old position and hoping that its share price won’t rise before you can re-open a tax-loss position might be worthwhile … but only if you recognize and accept the risk of losing out on any potential rise in the share price in the meantime. Since AMBA is a late reporter (current plan is not until March 1 and GPRO is Feb 4), that might not have been a horrible bet to make. But it still would have been a bet.

as always, i am full of carp


Off-topic but this thread seems worthwhile in terms of New Year Resolutions applicable here, so here goes quickly: I believe (conversely to my previous post) there is a lot to be said in terms of the investments discussed here for the kind of dynamism, or dynamic responses, Saul displays. I think I have been too averse to partial sales and re-purchases because of the admin. as much as the tax. Yet such activity would have definitely enhanced returns.

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Great decision - paying more attention to this board

Best learning: believe in actual results (and not just my own opinion) on competitive staying power of different businesses… Saul does this best.

Highlight - jumping in AMZN and GOOGL in the third quarter just before they both took off… This turned out to be “year saving” moves for me.

Lowlight - staying in INFN, SWKS, SKX through the drop in last few months.

I don’t think of these as best or worst decision.
I believe in INFN… Growing my confidence with SWKS and cautious but optimistic on SKX. So even though this drop is low light, they aren’t proven to be wrong decision yet.

On the highlight - The reason I jumped in Google and Amazon was based on my experience last year… In 2014, small cap growth didn’t perform well but big caps did ok and overall market was positive… Something called flight to safety phenomenon… So I decided to watch for it this year and that drove me to get in these large cap growth names.

Happy new year to everyone!


Best decision - Tie between Selling BOFI and PFIE when both became far more uncertain around their prospects

Worst decision - tie between selling NFLX, GOOGL, & FB too early, not getting back into AMZN after selling out in 2014, and wading into some oil related stocks more recently (though the jury is still out on how bad that idea really will be)

I’m curious about this. What was your smartest investment move in 2015? And if you want, your dumbest.

Great question, Karen!

My best investment decision.
I bought Atwood Oceanics based on the recommendation of one of the Fool services. Early in the year I read that the day rates for rigs was falling and that wasn’t good for oil services. I sold with a 4% profit. In a year that was slightly down for the S&P I am happy with that outcome. Atwood is now down about 75% from my purchase price so that sale looks even better.

My worst investment decision.
Warren Buffett said if you can just keep from losing money on the stock market you should do pretty well.

I bought Infinera at $7.50 and after holding patiently for several years was very happy when it finally appreciated. By the time it made it to $14.00 I sold half to “protect my gains.” I regretted the sale and bought the shares back at $19.69. Since I offset the sale with capital losses you could say no harm no foul. But in reality I lost out on 75% appreciated with my skittishness.

INFN is currently at $18.12

You can see all my holdings here: http://my.fool.com/profile/TMFJebbo/info.aspx

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Best move(s):

¦ Selling CALM for a 1531% annualized gain. I’ll pay short-term gains on that one, but I’ll take a 50% actual gain anytime. I kept half the position, and am looking to buy back in now that it’s hovering in the $45 territory (or at least it was with this morning’s drop… apparently now it’s +1% today already, at $46.81).

¦ NVDA was one of my best decisions – I bought a few times in the $19.25 - $23 range starting at the end of 2014 and into October 2015, and now it’s $32.44. A nice 40-70% gain depending on which batch I look at.

¦ I have to include “keeping ATVI” on this list. I bought ATVI back in July 2014 as one of my first self-managed positions. It flat-lined forrreevvvvver, and this year jumped nicely to be a 60%+ gain. Patience paid off. Not sure what the King acquisition or the gaming league they just bought will bring, but hopefully more of the goodness.

Worst move(s):

¦ AMBA. Really. Hurt. I ended up selling half for about a 70% loss after decided not to fight against the Wall Street headwinds. I ended up buying some at the high, more at the -$20 dip after the goofhead short-seller mess. My remaining half sits at -29% still, so I get to wait and see what happens.

¦ I have to mention that I did not sell BWLD when I really, really wanted to (bought $136.50, it was over $200 in late September). They telegraphed the drop due to chicken wing prices and higher staffing projected costs, and I didn’t act. Now I get to wait some more – but it’s a very good company with excellent management, and while this may not be my biggest position, it’s one of my highest-conviction positions.

¦ Did not sell WFM. Drank the Motley Fool Kool-Aid on this one without enough personal due diligence. The Motley/Whole Foods Board of Directors co-mingling would have been enough to dissuade me, but I didn’t know that until after. Wouldn’t have bought that recommendation if I’d known… but that’s on me.

The “TBD” category includes:

¦ SKX was a full bagger for me – until it wasn’t. I didn’t sell. I may add more. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter as much what I think as what everyone else thinks, so there could actually be rougher waters ahead (aka better buying opportunities).

Best move - Buying ATVI in early Jan for mid $18.

Worst move - There are quite a few, but the biggest one was selling out of AMZN during the last bear attack in low $300s. AMZN was a pretty big % of my portfolio at that time, and would have helped me handily beat the S&P500. Well so much for hindsight.

Other notable ones on the bad side were trying to average down on DDD and not selling FEYE despite thinking that nothing should value this company at close to $8B!

On the positive side, I found and read some stalwart posts by TMF1000 and also came across this board. AND finished reading the knowledge base during the holidays!


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Best decision: (Finally) realizing that I should either be an engaged investor (and put in the time/energy/actions). Also, starting to read board posts after having been a member for several years.

Worst decision: Tough one…I started with the above in Nov '15. So, I guess the inactivity and absence of learning for most of the year.