• Mark Watson-Mitchell

I never lose, I either win or I learn.

24th September 2021


On occasions like these that when I am reminded of Rudyard Kipling’s almost immortal words in his poem ‘If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs’ - it is not easy to stay calm, especially when it feels as though the world is in a total catastrophic panic.


Avoid over-reaction


Now some words of advice for any times of panic, a bit like we had earlier on this week on the back of exploding gas prices, staff shortages, supply hassles, shipping costs escalating and even the Chinese property market going into meltdown.


That was when I stated quite emphatically that caution was very necessary and over-reaction should be avoided.


My View Going Forward


Always keep up your confidence in your portfolio holdings.


To do so means that you must stay awake to company news relevant to any of the stocks on your list.


Know what you are looking for in terms of current and future performance, whether short, medium or longer term.


Assess the value of each of those company’s shares and log down the ‘price objectives’ made by any of the broker’s analysts that research the company.


Also assess what any competitive sector companies have for price earnings ratings and value estimates, then judge your holding company against those sector peers or averages.


In times of panic, it is best to not get influenced by the media reactions, they are simply gaining column inches as they spell out their ‘shock, horror, calamity, crisis’ stories – that after all is their job and that is why we read their words.


But do not get spooked


The market makers love to slash prices back in any times of market rout – it gives them the ability to close their own short positions, while also taking on board cheap stock.


That is why it really is essential that you do your homework on any of the stocks in your portfolio, that you keep reminding yourself of the reasons that made you take up those holdings.


It is imperative that active portfolios need constant attention, do not give it to someone else to do for you, so do it yourself. It is your money, your responsibility.


Know your companies and what they are doing


Do not get me wrong – shares are for buying, holding and selling – just know your own view when doing so.


It is wrong to get spoofed into this share or that company by way of a ‘tip’ from someone else.


Remember the old market adage ‘where there is a tip there is a tap’ – is someone ‘legging you in’ when actually getting out of the stock themselves?


I cannot be any clearer in reminding you that you must know your stocks and that it is important to keep to the aims that you had when you took them on board.


If corporate news changes any previous opinion, then assess rapidly your reaction going forward.


The UK equity market can be a very exciting arena of action – literally full of thrills and spills on an almost daily basis.


As I stated above it is always imperative that you know what is going on in both the market and in your own stocks.


Most of all it can be fun to get it right.


The old adages ring so true


‘The market is most dangerous at its best and at its best when at its worst.’

‘Scared money never makes any money.’


‘The only way to get a bargain is to buy when most investors are selling.’


‘To buy when others are despondently selling and to sell what others are greedily buying requires the greatest fortitude, even while offering the greatest rewards.’


But probably best of all,


I like what the late Nelson Mandela once said –


“I never lose, I either win or I learn.”

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