As an investor I have a lot more failure than success under my belt. I'm a poster child for how not to do it. I'm still seeking that ultimate trading strategy which will have a measure of automation and the perfect balance between risk and reward... Currently own ARR, MFA and PSEC.
I have been an investor for many years. Settled on REIT's as a retirement strategy in 2007. Since I am retired and I can spend a great deal of time tracking a considerable amount of data on current holdings and potential purchases. My focus is not on the current value of my portfolio since I do not plan on selling stock to live on. The focus is on the dividends and the number of shares I hold that pays those dividends. Even in 2008-2009, when the value of my holding dropped in half, I still had excellent dividend payouts. I made over 300 trades in 2008 and 2009 buying and selling and by the time the market started to recover in mid 2009, I had doubled the number of shares I owned. Good thing since my percent payout went from 25% in 2008 to 13.7% in 2009. Now it is running a little over 15%.