My mistakes with the stock market


(The Confused Consultant) #62

I am only trying to say don’t try to predict price than build rules.

Risk appetite management is completely a different subject, if one doesn’t
have a risk appetite build into investment philosophy you are just walking
on a rope which burning back.

The risk management includes if not all at least:

  1. How do I protect my capital ( whether you use stop loss or time based
    exit that is different)

  2. What is the amount of risk I am ready to commit into a stock?

  3. What if scenarios- if a risk goes downside how would I fight back my
    capital?

  4. How would I increase my position and allocate capital accordingly.

I am not referring to entry technique which would rather point to build
pattern for entry which of course comes with a probability of not
happening, referring to build rules so that you cut out emotions and
uncertainty while executing investment.

For example :

If I buy HDFC at 1000, max can I bear is 100 rupees. I don’t care whatever
the reason except a black swan like surgical strike which are unusual and I
may wait.

That saves my capital in first place.

Now if the price goes up I would enter basis either blind intrinsic value
or entry signal based on some technical parameter say like channel break
out. There is no question of prediction or emotion here.

If the price falls again I will get out at my risk appetite level.

Risk appetite I fix basis to capital allocated to portfolio. The percentage
vary of course wildly for trading and investing.

Please differentiate between A. risk appetite B. entry technique C.
portfolio or position management

Trust this clarifies.


(paraa) #64

i) I started investing in markets with my mother’s money during college times in 2007.This was beginning of the end of the last big bull run. Ample proof of insanity was everyone was talking about how lot of money can be made via stock markets .Even house wives who used conservative routes earlier for investing were beginning to get interested in stock market.
ii) This got me interested too and I started following market and started investing in IPOs (Adani port and few others which I don’t remember now) and also bought a few hot stocks like JP associates ,Tanla etc and some penny stocks etc) and the initial rush of paper profits excited me and I felt devasted when I didn’t get allotment in Reliance Power IPO
iii) Fast forward 2008 Jan and the indian market melt down starts,first time I see my portfolio lose money and even for a college kid I didn’t panick, I believed its only temporary blip and waited for markets to come back. Finally lost patience around nov dec 2008 and booked losses and mostly exited the market(Along with losers I also sold good ones like Maruti Suzuki,HUL)
iv) Then May 2009 happened and I believed that the timing is everything in market. After Satyam crash,I had Satyam as core bet in my portfolio with 75% allocation with the conviction of it being a multi multi bagger and held on to it till recently along with Powergrid being the other stock

I was out of active market action and only did SIP via mutual funds from 2009 till 2016 and reset my portfolio from March 2017 and building one for the next 10 years.

My big mistakes are I feel are

i) I didn’t use the experience of 2007 Euphoria and 2008 crash to continuously improve my knowledge of the markets. While I didn’t think like an average investor and totally stay out of markets, I worked on the wishful belief that with equities you can make money by buying a stock with good turn around prospects and then sitting on it imagining the future multi fold returns.
ii) While Satyam which turned as Tech Mahindra didn’t make me lose money, it had lot of opportunity cost. Learn that even good companies require tracking every quarter and be prepared to be open minded to listen to the negative aspects of a company too.
iii) People talk about high quality stocks with pedigree management and holding on it for years for great returns but for every HDFC bank, PAGE,Eicher there are many laggards too. Investor friendly management is the key here I guess and I have learnt this lesson late. There is always a different between good management and investor friendly management. Investor friendly management need be gauged on their actions rather than words.
iv) Listening to the stuff on TV, money control etc and making investment decisions based on it. Actually being contrarian works more I believe, I constantly heard during end 2011,2012 and even during 2016 when the market went down after a spike ,that markets are still expensive (at levels of 17,18 PE) while people who bought in this time made more money.
v) At last ,somethings which have cost me money are wishful thinking ,comparison with historical returns ,too much positive or negative bias.


(The Confused Consultant) #65

Hard hitting note, forced to respond; wonderful acceptance of behavioural finance. I hope this attitude alone to glory next time as you tighten the nuts and bolts of investment going forward.

Strong case of a successful points to me:
I started investing in markets with my mother’s money during college times in 2007. You have already paid so much tuition fees, I think most of mental battle is won.

,first time I see my portfolio lose money and even for a college kid I didn’t panick, I believed its only temporary blip and waited for markets to come back. Finally lost patience around nov dec 2008 and booked losses and mostly exited the market(Along with losers I also sold good ones like Maruti Suzuki,HUL)

100% line for my next presentation, once again you confirmed a story so often we are told.

) Listening to the stuff on TV, money control etc and making investment decisions based on it. Actually being contrarian works more I believe, I constantly heard during end 2011,2012 and even during 2016 when the market went down after a spike ,that markets are still expensive (at levels of 17,18 PE) while people who bought in this time made more money.

Small caveat from my side, everything works but not for everyone. Challenge lies in finding the best one suitable to you. You are already on to it! That would mean success is nearby if already it hasn’t reached you.

Good wishes and loads of success.


(paraa) #66

Thanks for the response.It means a lot to me because i am reading your posts and threads for the last few weeks and it has been very enlightening .

I also wrote this note to revisit it every time i feel overconfident or get dazed by profits and also from the behavior point of view ,the current bull run feels a bit Déjà vu


(mkurian) #67

I started investing 3 years ago and haven’t seen the full cycle yet.

Even then I have made several mistakes including:

  • Following forum posts such as money control believing what others say must be true
  • Being excited about 1 quarter results not thinking it could be an outlier
  • Believing too much into company’s promises on what future would look like instead of waiting for action and looking at history on how good they were on past promises
  • Not knowing that bad news travels fast and prices can be affected in the short term, simply because people speculate a lot
  • Expecting announcements to translate to reality in a very short time

But the good thing is I’ve learned a lot from all my mistakes and valuable books full of wisdom. As a result

  • Now I can imagine what someone is trying to sell me when I read a report/ad/news/article/post
  • I can detach myself from the emotions that can be associated with daily/weekly/monthly price movements
  • I can wait patiently for a few quarters to see if the situation changes
  • I know that numbers could be cooked, but the number that matters is not really the price
  • Average up if I have conviction
  • I have developed the muscle to sell losers and hold on to my compounders
  • I have also started looking at how my employer operates and how market reacts to announcements and how much time it takes to put things in market

A lot of it is one’s own value system, appetite for risk and conviction levels. Conviction can be developed only through systemic analysis and practice. So I’m grateful to all my mistakes for they have helped me learn and I wouldn’t have learnt any of it if I had not put my own money out there.

Now, I haven’t learned it all and I haven’t seen a real bear market yet. But I have conviction in my investments and I know those companies won’t go bust in the next phase.


(Cshar) #68

Though, I am in stock market for last 10-12 years however it started on a bad note in 2004-2007 when I was just playing in high risk Futures market without knowing inharent risk involved. Luckily, all bets taken rose like phonix as intial capital was quiet low. Best part I did to take out money at every 2-3 months intervel & invested in properties. Profits we’re really huge due to high leverage. Made cool 20-21 lakhs in speculation & took out 80% of capital in Nov 2007 due to my sis marriage. All remaining money wiped out in 2 days when market crashed in Jan 2008, this was a real eye opener. Was out of market for a year, got to know the real risk associated with futures. Started value investing in equities in 2013-14 period. By God’s grace, I have produced 7x, 5x, several 3x in my last 4 years of investing. Original capital has been multiplied by more than 6 times. Below are mistakes

  1. Too much concentrated portfolio in 2015, though gains in 2014-2015 we’re fabulous however believed in 3 stocks & kept 70% of portfolio in 3 stocks. Lost momentum in 2016 start as all stocks were power stocks, understood mistake & changed strategy & diversified into Pharma sector. It took me more than 1 year to regain momentum. LEARNT A HARD LESSON, YOUR MOST FAVOURITE STOCK WILL BECOME YOUR WORST STOCK OF PORTFOLIO WITH CHANGE IN FUNDAMENTALS.
  2. STRICTLY FILLOW THE RULE OF partial profit booking in all Stocks to bring down aquisition price, add more if it goes below for no reason
  3. Dealing is turnaround companies may make you sick in stock market, due to heavy debt, waiting periods are longer & bull.market doesn’t wait for anyone. Amtek auto & metelyst forging are stocks where I have lost 90% of investment.
  4. Future trading is restricted to 10% if portfolio value.
    5 actively trade in holdings up to 10% if there is sharp rise.
    6 stocks in portfolio increased from 7-8 to 15
    7 by grace of Ganesha, things are going fantastic,

(calminvestor) #69

Hi @ameydesai, Kudos for starting a thread on identifying mistakes and learning from them. It’s easy to get lost in the search for the next “multibagger” but without identifying and rectifying the most common mistakes, we’re only likely to keep repeating them.

I did an extensive portfolio review exercise based on about 8 years of stock investing data and grouped my mistakes into three key buckets:

  1. Going contrarian on price alone i.e. buying more of a losing stock that’s deteriorating fundamentally
  2. Holding on to losers too long waiting for them to recover my losses
  3. Selling winners too early and by corollary not buying more of them

I forced myself to document key examples in detail where I had committed these errors so I consciously avoid feeling that pain.

In case anyone would like to take a look:


(shreys) #70

I had been deliberating initiation of a thread discussing mistakes. However, I came across this thread a couple of days ago. And, I couldn’t be happier.
I’ve tried and recalled by mistakes, errors of judgement in my short exposure to capital markets.
Lesson 1:
I started taking a keen interest in markets in 2012.
My trading and investment decisions were based on stock recommendations offered by analysts on TV channels.
The returns generated were decent. I truly wondered why people thought trading/investing was difficult. I thought I had discovered the recipe for success in stock markets. It was easy. It required little effort from my end. All I had to do was imitate the analyst’s stock pick. Things were great. Until one day. The stock picks recommended for intraday started failing. It was unfathomable to me that I was losing so much money. I started revenge trading. Lost even more money. Whatever profits I had generated were evaporated in a relatively short duration. I could’ve never imagined such an outcome.
In hindsight I should’ve thought that there’s never a free lunch. Why would anyone offer their stock picks without anything in return?
Lesson: Trust no one blindly. Assess, examine trading/ investment decisions.
Every action of assistance, guidance towards us in the stock market should be looked at with glasses of cynicism. It’s a brutal place.

Lesson 2:
On a popular stock app there’s a bustling interaction medium. Stock picks are often offered for free and people wax eloquent about the tremendous potential the company possesses to multiply our wealth.
I came across one such message recommending investment in an investment company. It’d be inappropriate to share the stock pick.
The stock was described as being at the cusp of a great transition to being a large cap company. Messages loaded with superlatives describing the management bombarded the board. It seemed like the ideal investment opportunity.
I trusted them and invested 10 % of my portfolio.
The stock went from X to 3X in 5 months.
My happiness knew no bounds. I was ecstatic.
I continued averaging at upper levels expecting even more upside.
One day, the stock began its downward slide. Lower circuit after lower circuit. Surveillance measures were taken by the exchange and moved to 5% circuit. The fall was excruciating. It stopped when it reached 1.5 X.
I continued to average. Since, I had purchased heavily at upper levels my average price became very high. Losses incurred were significant. The fall wasn’t arrested yet. It kept falling. The stock had formed 35% of my portfolio. My portfolio was painted in red. There was little chance the stock would regain its past glory. I had to book my losses. It dawned on me that the stock move was a meticulously engineered operation by bigger investors. I had invested by trusting someone else. Not on my own conviction. Because of this the grief was even more.
Lesson 2: If possible avoid excessive concentration in any stock pick. Conditions can deteriorate at any point.
Introduce adequate safeguards to protect profits.
Booking profits will reduce cost of carry.
It was my greed that destroyed my portfolio.
It’s difficult to tame greed but those who succeeed at doing so will likely emerge victorious in the market.

Lesson 3:
In 2016, I came across a petrochemical company which was showing some signs of a turnaround.
Anti dumping duty was going to be imposed sooner than later and company’s financials would improve.
I invested based on this thesis. Management seemed to be decent. I invested 15% of my portfolio. It was my first turnaround investment.
When the results were declared the turnaround wasn’t very convincing. Instead of waiting and appreciating that turnarounds take time I exited my holdings.
I had purchased at X. I exited at 1.3 X. A 30 % profit. It seemed a healthy return to me in 3-4 months.
The same company, in the next 7 quarters underwent an extraordinary turnaround. From losses to double digit profit margins. And, the stock went from X to 5X.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. I blamed my luck and derived solace that I had some profit. But, heart of hearts I knew I had made a massive error of judgement.
Lesson: Be patient. If you’re convinced about a stock after enough research stay invested for some time. Investments take time to mature, to grow.
In investments without conviction profit booking would be sensible. But, if enough conviction has been developed- Be patient, do nothing.
Sometimes inactivity is better than activity.
Here, I was a victim of fear of losing money. Hence, sold too early.
Fear and greed are major causes of bad decisions.

Lesson 4:
An important lesson I learned is appreciating the role of luck and the limitations of our expertise.
I, have often mistaken my luck for skill. And, it has cost me a lot.
Stock trading/ investing is an incredibly complicated activity. There are so many variables involved that it’s difficult for linear thinkers like us to piece the information and take rational decisions.
To simplify the task, we resort to substituting difficult questions for easy ones.
Instead of analyzing a company based on its financials I’ll check if I like the product manufactured by that company and invest based on that.
I’ve succumbed to it often.
And, needless to say, I lost money.
Also, being rigid is harmful to us.
Despite knowing that a strategy doesn’t work, I refused to accept it. I suffered from the illusion of validity.
Acceptance is crucial for success.
Most factors are beyond our control. Frankly, there’s hardly anything in our control.
I stopped thinking of myself as a person who has everything in control and accepted the fact that I was at the mercy of variables I could do nothing about.
This change in behavior, approach helped me.
I started appreciating the contribution of luck in success.
From where we’re born, the upbringing we receive , the socioeconomic status are rarely in our control.
And,these factors play an instrumental role in moulding the future behavioral patterns of a person.
Lesson 4: The lesson I learned is that I should shed my delusion of being in control and acknowledge that despite my best efforts there will be consequences totally opposite to my expectations.

Lesson 5:
The most important lesson I learned is that I should have realistic expectations.
Stock markets aren’t get rich quick schemes.
It’s a way to participate in the growth story of a real business.
For an ordinary person like me it’s impossible to sustain 20% CAGR for long durations.
I tempered my expectations to 10-11% over the long term.
After all, what causes pain- When expectations are not met we suffer from pain, grief.
Solution is to have low expectations. If the outcome is better than our expectations our joy will be indescribable.

I humbly share the lessons I’ve learned. This forum has played an instrumental role in my growth as a person. My heartfelt thanks to each and every member here. This forum has helped me realize that there’s always something to learn. This forum taught me that there’s always someone better from whom we can learn.
It taught me that even veterans in investing are constantly acquiring knowledge.
Before my introduction to Valuepickr I spent a lot of time on social networking sites scanning the tweets of investors.
But, the forum helped me grow as an investor thanks to the massive collection of structured information which is constantly updated by members.
Yet again, my gratitude to all.
My apologies if I’ve erred.
Best wishes.


#71

Was this the lesson, or it was that you were buying on tips and may be not a quality company.


(shreys) #72

There’s wasn’t enough work done by me at analysing the stock. That was the first mistake. And, allocating 35% of my portfolio was the second.
In my humble opinion, an excessive allocation to any one stock is avoidable.
As I’ve mentioned there are many factors beyond our control. An adverse development in the company can ruin our portfolio.
Hence, I select 6-8 stocks in my portfolio. It offers decent diversification to protect on the downside and if the story develops well the allocation isn’t too small.


(sincyvarghese) #73

My Big mistakes.

  1. 2006-2007

The stock market was on a tear. I changed my job but held on to the previous company’s shares. The INR was gaining against the USD. It went upto 38 rupees to a dollar. Everybody predicted the IT industry is finished or almost. Anyway IT stocks went nowhere. Everything else was moving up. The shares of my previous company (say X) constituted more than 60% of my portfolio. It did not budge. Rather it dropped about 10%. Others were on fire. Tata Power, Reliance Energy. I made a few lakhs by booking profits (lucky me).

The novice that I was, I started selling X shares and bought DLF, Bharti Shipyard, Parsvanath, ABG shipyard, Punj Lloyd. X now constituted hardly 15% of the portfolio. And then the meltdown happened. Dollar gained, rupee fell. All the non-X shares started dropping like stones. X gained a bit and gave a semblance of sanity to the portfolio. I was down to 35% of my original portfolio. I was like a deer stuck in the headlights.

It was God’s mercy that I needed to send my daughter to school. With no cash in hand I was forced to liquidate all the non-X shares at 60-80% loss. It was my good fortune because these stocks fell another 50-80% from there. The only good decision I took was not to throw in the towel. I was still convinced equities are the way to go.

With what was left and savings from my income I embarked on another journey. Cutting out all noise started investing in quality. Since this is about mistakes I will not write much about my successes which are anyway few and far in between.


(Cshar) #74

Good to read all experiences from investors on this forum. Though I am in stock markets for last 14 years however started value investing only in 2014. I had bought shree cement in 2005 at 140 rupees 200 stocks, sold it at 280, trading now at 17000, when you buy a business than hold it forever, look for industries which offers 10-11 percent sales growth, no government intervention in business, selling small reusable things. Most tragic experience was that my start of stock market was with derivatives that too in 2006 when markets were on boil, luckily I had habit of taking money out from markets time to time which saved me crash of 2008.

My views, there is no harm in keeping one bet at 35% if you want to move faster. I used to have 40% allocation to 3 stocks in 2014, 2 of three multiplied by 4x, WoW. It’s very important to read trends in market & rotate your capital accordingly. I moved from power in 2014 to pharma in 2015, moved to chemicals in 2017. Making money is stock market is not easy. All hot stocks are expensive & fund managers are sitting in them hence you wouldn’t make money. Cheap stocks are either value trap or value buy based on turnaround triggers.

Mistakes:
Though I knew that power cycle was turning negative still was holding power stocks, though I lost 20% gains from top however large capital remained idle due to underperformance of power sector.


(Utsab) #75

Options without doing proper study. Just blindly putting money there.
Also, once I bought Meenakshi Enterprise. It was a highly operator manipulated stock. From 350 it kept on giving back to back lower circuits and next I sold the shares at just 50 rupees. After that incident started to read and research about the companies I want to invest in.


(ramana1777) #76

My biggest mistake is not holding good shares (not owning business more precisely) long enough. I entered many good businesses at decent price but exited too early for paltry/cheap/miniscule gains. Now I have learned my lessons and holding onto good co’s. When ever I tempted to sell, I ask following questions

  1. Why do I want to sell, is there any better company in the same space/segment/business?
  2. Does this business/product is going to be disrupted/obsolete?
  3. Does the Management not geared for future?

I will sell only, If my answer is YES to any of the above three questions.


(mylu) #77

There are 2 mistakes OPTIONS and DAY TRADING. They are for the ones who are well versed in stock market. Specifically on DAY TRADING , it will ruin the day watching the ups and downs of the stock bought by me and finally booking loss :frowning: . I later realized and completely came out of it.


(yourraj) #78

Day trading need different set of skills and stock pickings
1 Choose the broker where is fixed transaction fees e.g Zerodha
2 Choose the stock with high beta .
3 Should have high relatively volume say 2x
4 Choose the stock near extremes
5 It is strongly based on study of technical indicators
6 Choose you stock screener carefully
7 stock should he Strong Daily Charts (above the Moving Averages and with no nearby resistance).
8 You should have stock loss say 1 to 2 % of your entry price
9 You need to have ample time and you must take action immediately
10 you must have set target to exit once reach and if indicators tell you that it can further rally revise your stock loss and target limits
11 I find out ammibroker is a good software for studying the stock
12 Another step is play online stock games one such is free in EconomicTimes website
Best wishes
Regards


(shreys) #79

One of the biggest mistakes I committed was of inaction rather than action.
I didn’t include large caps in my portfolio. I was ill informed that just because large caps are well discovered stocks return generation would be insignificant. I couldn’t be more wrong. 15 months ago, I had been considering investing in a large cap. But, I decided against it for the sole reason that it was already a massive company. The stock has delivered 35% returns. I’m speechless.
I had the misconceived notion that healthy returns can be ensured by investing only in nano, microcaps.
I risked my capital by investing in companies with questionable business practices. I did so because I was enamoured by the anticipated metamorphosis from a small company to a larger one. This transformation never materialised and my portfolio suffered substantial losses.
Value isn’t restricted to just the nano,micro and small caps. It’s everywhere. Even in large caps.
It taught me a lesson for life-
a) The lesson that I’m wrong more often than I’m right.
b) The lesson that I should be willing to consider new investing strategies.
c) The lesson that I should endeavour to refine my beliefs and base my notions on reason and not on arbitrary markers.