Joined: 24 Apr 2005
Location: Houston, Texas
|Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:30 am Post subject: Back in the saddle again
|First of all, let me say that I am sorry I haven't posted in awhile. 2009 is a very hectic year for me and I want to thank those that have sent me an email, and apologize for not answering sooner, but hope to answer most of the questions in this post.
2008 was a bad year with the markets. In August 2008 there were three days in-a-row when the Dow was up several hundred points each day, yet my Mutual Funds were down 5k. It did not make any sense to me (remember Enron )and I converted all funds into a position similar to a Guaranteed APR of around 4.5%. So, from Aug 2008 - Aug 2009 I was a happy person as I was making money, which is the name of the game.
It has been a long wait, but I am back in the Mutual Funds since Aug 2009. Currently holding 10 positions and, so far, up 10.95% for my first month.. Not too Shabby..but more importantly I am back on track with my Goals . For a short term goal I am hoping for 30% for 2009. Long term 40-60% per year.
How do I choose?
Out of 90+ Mutual fund companies, I made an Excel spreadsheet with Mutual Fund symbol and name, Last Price, Annual Percent, and sorted Largest % increase to smallest. I then narrowed the list to those that are up 5% or more, choosing the top 25 and then (as Steve says) Visually Viewed the Candlestick chart patterns for the past 12 months, comparing Daily, Weekly, Monthly Candle patterns and choose the 10 most likely to succeed. I did not give equal amounts amounts to each.
Instead, I made up a ranking system from 1 to 3 and visually (using the Candle patterns) assigned a ranking to each with no more than 15% to any one Mutual Fund. I then choose the top one in the top 2 ranks and gave 15% to each, I gave the lowest two 5% and the rest 10%. I ended up with 2 having 15%, 6 having 10% and 2 Having 5% of the total to invest.
Why did I do it this way?
Because the smarter Mutual Fund managers are smarter than me, and why should I reinvent the wheel? If they can make 30, 40, 50, or 60%+ in one year, Who am I to say I can do better? They already did it? I just jumped on the bandwagon. Also, if the top two made 40 or 70%, I thought they deserved an extra bit of risk, thus I gave them 15%. 20% I thought might be a little too much.
Most Important is to watch Your Money on a daily basis. Know the commissions you willl pay for each Mutual Fund, fees at termination, maintenance fees, sales commissions,etc and include them in the spreadsheet. I try and keep fees below 2%. Note that some Mutual Funds when you retire and collect may have Salesman's commission paid at the the end, which means you may be paying up to 30% commissions. So do your homework!
From Jan 1, 2009 until the end of May, I have been working a full-time job, and the Mrs and I (and one helper) have used all of our off days and spare time remodeling ....you know...painting, new kitchen and bath, converting carpet to a bamboo floor, remodel of two bathrooms, windows...have you ever seen a Vessel Sink with Water fountain? Very different for sure! but the end result was worth it - all 17k
During the past year, I have switched from Scottrade to MB Trading to TDAmeritrade. MBTrading lasted about two months....learned MB Software which kept losing settings....my first three trades had issues with each... mostly actual price traded was too far off from what I thought it should be ( did not have the problem with Scottrade)....and up-to-date info on my account was sloppy...so I switched to TDAmeritrade.
I choose TDAmeritrade because it fits MY trading style. I use TCNet and Stockfinder and I am very satisfied with this combination. I also joined HitandRunCandlesticks (with Rick) and find it also meets my needs and trading style. My second choice was Tradestation, and I may consider it at a later time.
The Future is unknown...one path I am eagerly working towards includes Early Retirement in Dec 2010 and full-time trading (as a retiree). It may come sooner that that, which is alright with me!
By the way, I still have not missed a single Stock Chat session! With each session I still learn a new trick, new thought or tidbit of information and it definitely keeps me fine-tuned.
Thanks Once Again to Steve and Rick!