I hate when this happens…
Midway through the 2013, I was beating the Stock market indexes (S&P 500 and DOW) by about 10%. I could do no wrong! Then it happened, instead of all the right moves, I flipped over into bizarro world and everything that I did was wrong. Not wrong enough to hurt my returns drastically (I ended the year up over 20% in my regular brokerage account), but enough to pull down my 10% premium above the market that I had midway thru the year last year.
So what happened?
I over-traded, over-analyzed and over-reacted. Once I started down that path, it was pretty much over for me (pun intended). It’s an easy path to go down in the stock market. Sometimes when you are very successful, your emotions start to take over and when you are up decently, you start to think that anything you do will be golden. Well, it doesn’t happen that way always.
Okay, I have to admit, this has me bummed, but at least my Roth IRA gained 48.7% and my 401k was up over 30% for the year. Still, having just one of my accounts underperform the S&P 500 index definitely bums me out. I have to wonder if it wouldn’t be easier just to put a sizable amount into a S&P 500 index ETF and just let it ride.
The same stocks that hit me hard at year-end also have been surging at the beginning of this year. While the stock market has been close to flat YTD, my regular account is up 5% YTD, so maybe I’m not doing so horribly after all.
Either way, 2014 seems much more questionable and I seriously doubt that it will rise unabated like the 2013 year climbed. Every year I think I learn a little more about investing and the stock market behavior. Investing to me seems like a constant state of learning and refining.
Out with the old, and in with the new, good luck everybody!