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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Gutted over gold

As mentioned, I decided to sell all my stock before I went to Canada but typically, one of my favourites (gold) went to Pluto while I was away. In fact, if you look at the chart below where I've put an X at the day I left, the big price rise almost coincides with when I went!

The reason I sold out was because I wasn't sure how much I'd be able to get online while away and I didn't want to spend my hols trying to manage positions. As it turned out, I was online a bit and couldn't help checking prices - which made the price rises painful. I reckon I missed out on a couple of grand but there are lessons to be learned and I'm going to take it as such. Here's some thoughts/reflections on the situation:

1. Stop losses:  Why didn't I just set a stop loss and let my position ride? I'm not really sure. I guess I just wanted to be out of the markets for a bit and go to cash while forgetting about money and enjoying the hols. I must admit though, I still thought about trading  a lot and missed it - perhaps I've got the bug somewhat stronger than I thought. Even though I haven't been trading massive sums, I tried and failed to put trading out of my head.  However, I realise now that being out of the markets, even just for holidays, can be costly. If I'm going to be a trader, I'm going to have to realise that this is a 365 day a year pursuit. In the future, I'll keep my positions while on hols and set stops if I think I won't have access to them.
2. Internet access: I had Internet access in Canada (of course) and I had my phone too, which can be used to trade if really necessary. In the future, I'll check out how much or little Internet access I'll have before I go, and act accordingly.
3. Getting on late: I half thought about buying Gold while over there but couldn't really bring myself to get on late. I missed another opportunity. The price is what it is at any given time, and it's either a buy or a sell, but it's harder than it seems to buy after an upsurge. I'll have to try get around the psychology of this one as I've often held back after a surge, when I should have been adding to my position.
4. Strategy: While I broke my strategy by selling everything before I left, a positive point is that I know some things are working. It's cold comfort to say that 'if I had stuck with my strategy, I'd have earned a couple of grand'  but it happens to be true. For me, that's a positive and I'm going to see my trades through in the the future. At the end of the day, there will be many more rises and plunges in the future. The markets will always be there so one missed trade is no big deal. In fact, I didn't lose money as such so this can be treated as a positive learning experience rather than the usual costly ones!

I'm off to Gran Canaria on Saturday so no point in getting back into it until I'm back but I'm raring to go again so I can't wait to get cracking again when I'm back. I'm also going to give the Betfair and Betdaq markets a lash too when I'm home as I've been neglecting those in favour of the financial markets.

Gold daily chart, including the date I missed the surge:

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