Back in May, I ran a pair of articles in tribute to my 1,000th outperform/underperform call in CAPS. On this final day of 2008, I'm rapidly approaching 1,500 picks. Clearly, I'm not on the road to recovery.
This seems as good a time as any to pause and reflect on my performance. Overall, I'm thrilled, having lifted my score by several thousand points and my accuracy above 72%. I even managed to crack the elite ranks of the top 50 players, out of more than 125,000 total.
But I'm not here to brag. I made some boneheaded moves, too, and those are what I want to focus on. It's the only way I can keep improving as an investor, both in CAPS and in real life.
Thus, I present to you three things I fumbled:
No. 1: Abandoning ship
Stepping through the calls I ended this year, there are countless examples of companies that proceeded to implode after I removed my red thumb (that's an underperform call, for the uninitiated). Some examples include Interoil
No. 2: Getting greedy
With shares plunging left and right, it became tempting to pile onto these firms on the downside. This can be just as damaging as chasing a stock that's screaming higher, thanks to the infamous short squeeze phenomenon. One situation in which I got burned was an October underperform call on Cheniere Energy
No. 3: Clinging to old beliefs
This is a classic psychological issue in investing, and it's well-illustrated by my failure to see the impending doom for energy players once the commodity market cracked in July. As share prices dipped (a prelude to a plunge), I threw my support behind firms like Nabors Industries
So what was your biggest investing mistake in 2008, in CAPS or otherwise? Let us know in the comments box below.
More from The Motley Fool
Why BlackBerry Is a Buy Heading Into Q3 Earnings
BlackBerry should report another round of improvements in software revenue and margin.
Twitter Stock Pops to Fresh 52-Week High on Analyst Upgrade and Expanded Harassment Policies
The microblogging service gets a bullish vote from Wall Street, while attempting (again) to crack down on hate on its platform.
Can The Trade Desk Keep Going After Last Week's 10% Pop?
The programmatic advertising leader moves higher after an opportunistic SunTrust analyst upgrade.