Market Talk with Piranha is currently moving to its new home at chrisperruna.com. The new site is up and running but many of the posts need editing as the images and stock charts did not transfer successfully (thanks blogger). I will post all new entries to both blogs – Thank you for your patience while I make this change!

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Play Another Day

...Money management starts with protecting your capital, realizing profits and cutting losses. As I have stated in the past, without cash, you can't invest. Cash is king and learning to manage your money is the most important aspect to investing in stocks. The game is won by lowering your risk by properly turning the numbers in your favor. Cutting losses is the best insurance to keeping your cash.

Emotions fuel the decisions of many investors; leading the pack is hope, fear and greed. In order to control these emotions, proper money management skills must be developed through a defined set of rules. How do you know if an investment is working and moving in the right direction? If it shows a profit, you are correct, if it shows a loss, something is wrong and it may be time to protect your capital.

Most investors develop the emotion of hope after a stock has declined from the initial purchase price. They hope that it will rebound and make promises to themselves that they will sell at breakeven. If and when the stock rebounds, they break the promise and become greedy and decide to hold on for a profit instead of selling. Typically, the stock will start to decline and the investor will start to accumulate losses. Investors are full of pride and will not admit that their judgment is wrong, so instead, they decide to hold on and accumulate additional losses.

When a stock is purchased and starts to decline, especially on heavy volume, it is time to admit that you may be wrong and sell before the loss is too steep. If the stock rebounds after you sell, you can always re-enter your position. Cutting losses is the best insurance an investor can have in their portfolio. By developing rules and eliminating emotion, investors can start selecting high quality stocks and buying them at their proper purchase points. This will lower your risk and help prevent you from using insurance. In my previous post, I explained how to develop a watch list of high quality stocks using fundamental and technical analysis.

Piranha

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