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Not Happy About A Missed Trade… Welcome To The Stock Market

19 September 2008 4 Comments

Yesterday, before the market rallied, I logged into my brokerage account and prepared to sell my entire position in the Financials Ultra Short ETF (SKF).  The stock was up to about $140 after the string of ugly events in the financial sector.  I was about to unload the entire position and roll the money into Apple (AAPL) stock as Apple had hit a low of around $125 a share.

Unfortunately, I didn’t pull the trigger.  I thought, this thing has some legs so I’m going to let it run it’s course a little longer.

Today, SKF is at about $93 and Apple is back up towards $140.  Missing this trade cost me about $700 over the last day or two.  I’m a little mad at myself for not pulling the trigger, but I am being forced to recognize how fast things can change in the stock market especially in these extremely volatile days where the Dow swings up and down 400 points in a single day.

The bottom line is you have to be willing to take profits when a volatile position you hold is up.  SKF is not one of my long term positions that I am planning to hold for years, I was trying to capitalize on a short term movement against financials.  I played it right, I just didn’t take profits.

Learn from my example… It’s never a bad thing to take profits.


  • rebel said:

    I hate that too. I missed one too recently, well sort of. it was down huge and I had been watching it. I knew it would hit a bottom and I was right about where I thought it would be. I said I need to put some money in it. I procrastinated and the next thing I knew it was up like 300%. I still got in and made some money off it, but sometimes we just need to have courage to act on our convictions.

  • Everyday Finance said:

    Wow, not to gloat (because I just missed a 2000% return on a stock I recommended shorting and named the options and all, but missed expiry by a couple weeks), but I played the exact equities yesterday.

    I bought UYG 2X leveraged financial at 16 yesterday; up close to 40% since entry. 1 day!

    I entered a debit spread trade on apple 155/175 strikes when Apple traded at 129 and the stock as rallied since. (I posted on how this works last night for anyone interested)

    So, can’t win em all. but gotta be in it to win it.

  • kevin duffey said:

    Awesome stuff. Thanks for letting me know (even though it makes me more mad ).

    Look forward to hearing more from you!

    Thanks for commenting.

  • Ali@IP said:

    Great post. I got in at a great time in Brazil via BTM and EWZ. I took a little bit of cash in a tender offer, and hung on for what ended up being a 40% downward spiral. Long-term I’m still in the country and excited for the prospects. But I could’ve sold out and ended up 15%, and been much happier than now. Set a target price and sell once you’re there.