Sunday, February 18, 2007

Share trading/ investment

Share trading and share investment are like cars. One is a sports car- the other is a sedan. Both basically are designed to take you to your destination. Its really up to you- as to how fast you want to drive.

Take share trading for example- that's like buying a sports car. Sports car look cool don't they? My fav would be the Lotus Elise. It just looks sexy cool.

However, they come at a cost. First off- its not really for a family. Second, they usually drink a lot of petrol. Third, their maintenance cost is high compared to a sedan.

That's the way with share trading too - it often requires you to maintain a high degree of concentration, and you often, spend a lot more money acting on stop losses and brokerage fees.

But they go fast... super fast. Making 5% a day not per annum is possible. But what's the cost? Higher risk. If you are planning to drive your sports car at 200km down the road- you stand a greater degree of crashing and killing yourself especially if you don't know what you are doing. Similarly, if you take highly leveraged positions, and don't act stop losses - you're going to become bankrupt and owe people a serious load of money - in other words, you've crashed and ended up in E.R.

Share investment are similar too- but in this case, you're taking a slightly slower approach, which might take a bit longer to get to your destination, ie. rich land. In this case, you're driving an ordinary sort of car... drinks less fuel... needs less maintenance, and can accommodate your family lifestyle. So you're spending less time looking at your shares, etc... But like buying a sedan, you have to be quite careful that you don't buy a crap car. That's not much point in dumping your cash in a small crappy stock, and when it goes down, you say "buy and hold" ... no, no. Similarly, if you have a car and its got serious mechanical issues- you might as well sell it quickly before you spend a fortune repairing the damn thing.

Yet, at the same time, you can also drive your sedan quite fast. The average car's speedometer goes all the way up to 200km. Try driving at that speed in your back road. You can of course drive it safely at a high speed on the highway too. But again, you still have to use your judgement- you can't drive at 100km/h if you're stuck in a traffic jam. Whizzing in and out at that speed is going to get you killed.

In both sides, you still need to exercise prudence and caution. You can double or triple your money in this. People who placed their money in good stocks when the stock market was depressed usually made a fortune.

The adage remains the same- don't lump all your eggs in one basket. Never put more than 10 - 15% of your capital into any one stock. Never try and search for that "magic bullet"- otherwise you'll end up getting shot. You're not God, you can't foresee the future 100% all the time. No mortal can. But you can limit your risk. If you limit your risk, you'll last longer, if you last longer, it will give you more opportunity to make money.

If you succeed in this balancing act, you'll end up to your destination. Making a sizable pile of money, and not having to keep up with a 9- 5 grind.

That's my goal... occasionally I forget the rules- and the market canes me. Just suck it up, and move on.

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