Thursday, October 25, 2018

The "Best" Move

Had a nice email conversation with a dear old friend yesterday. One of the questions he asked me was if, in light of the huge hit to recent paper profits, I saw any point in exiting the market with what recent (let's assume he means that which was accumulated in the latter half of last year) profit is left, "even for yourself".

Here's from my response to that question:
".... nope, with general conditions not pointing to a recession I'm holding tight with my long-term money. I never let volatility shake me up, I only (other than tweaking sector weights) adjust when general (economic, etc.) conditions suggest that a contraction going forward is more likely than a continued expansion, which isn't the case currently. When general conditions remain constructive, pullbacks should typically be bought, not sold (I make no guarantees, however)." 
"All that said my friend, as we've discussed before, in my view this stuff isn't worth losing sleep over. A few times over the years (can count them on one hand) I have suggested that a client sell at a time when I did not feel it was the best investment move, but rather when it was the best emotional move... which is most important in my view...."
I left him with this Jesse Livermore quote:
"That is about all I have learned—to study general conditions, to take a position and stick to it. I can wait without a twinge of impatience. I can see a setback without being shaken, knowing that it is only temporary. I have been short one hundred thousand shares and I have seen a big rally coming. I have figured—and figured correctly—that such a rally as I felt was inevitable, and even wholesome, would make a difference of one million dollars in my paper profits. And I nevertheless have stood pat and seen half my paper profit wiped out, without once considering the advisability of covering my shorts to put them out again on the rally. I knew that if I did I might lose my position and with it the certainty of a big killing. It is the big swing that makes the big money for you."
-- Jesse Livermore

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