Managing Short-Term Emotion -- Part I

by: Roger Nusbaum

Roger Nusbaum (wish list) submits: A few weeks ago the S&P 500 went below its 200 day moving average and stayed there for a few days before starting this current rally. At about the same time the dollar started a big rally of its own.

So the combination of my taking a little off the table from domestic positions and the lag in the performance of foreign stocks caused the accounts I manage to lag for a little while. I wrote at some point I would be happy with capturing some of the effect for awhile which has been the case; capturing some but with a lag.

This happens to professionals, this happens to do-it-yourselfers. It is a part of investing. Short little spikes that go against you will likely lead to chasing heat with a bad outcome if you give in to emotion.

Over the last few weeks I have had quite a few holdings go up a lot which has really helped out. I don't credit good stock picking but proper diversification. The moves in the S+P and the dollar have been very pronounced. I would expect any diversified portfolio to have a few stocks up much more than the broad market.

A couple of the movers have been otherwise dead money for a while. Most diversified portfolios probably have a few of these as well. This gives good lesson about not giving up on something just because it has been boring.

This reiterates my belief about doing most, not all, portfolio planning ahead of time when you are not in an emotional state.

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