Wednesday, 6 August 2008

My strategies for buying and selling (KISS version)

Strategies for buying and selling.

For buying (ABC):

A.  Assess Quality, Management and Valuation (QMV)

B.  Buy good quality stocks.

C.  Buy these stocks at a discount (Margin of Safety)

(If you select your stocks carefully, often one can hold them for long periods. The idea is to allow compounding over the long period to work in your favour.)

For selling (1,2,3,4):

1. If you need cash for emergency. (But then, hopefully, you will have separate money for such emergencies. The cash invested into the market should be separate.)

2. You will need to sell URGENTLY (QUICKLY) if there is something wrong with the fundamental of your stock (example: fraudulent accounting, etc). At other instances, you do have the time to SELL at leisure.

3. Your stock has gone up too high. By your assessment, at that price the upside return is less, but the downside risk is more, then you may wish to sell to REINVEST INTO ANOTHER STOCK WITH MORE FAVOURABLE UPSIDE REWARD/DOWNSIDE RISK RATIO.

4. On occasions, you have identified a very good BARGAIN, you may wish to sell some of your stocks to REINVEST into these stocks to capture a higher upside/downside reward risk ratio that these stocks offer.

Defensive Portfolio Management = 2.
This is to prevent harm to the portfolio.
Urgent attention needed.

Offensive Portfolio Management = 3 & 4.
This is to optimise returns of the portfolio.
Have the time to sell at leisure.

"Investing should be fun and not a game."


Quality = Points 1 to 6
Management = Point 7
Valuation = Point 8

Nine Steps to Value Investing


Additional Related Notes:

Why do you Sell and When?

Reducing serious loss

When the fundamentals of a stock have deteriorated, sell to protect your portfolio. This decision should be make quickly based on the facts and situations, in order to keep your losses small.

Taking profit

Profit should be realised from sales of stocks in the following situations:
(I) when the stock is obviously overpriced, or
(II) when the sale of the stock frees the capital to be reinvested into another stock with potentially better return.

Not taking profit in the above situations can harm your portfolio and compromise its returns. In other circumstances, let the winners run.

Underperforming stocks should also be sold early. Hanging onto underperforming stocks is costly too. There is the opportunity cost that the capital can be better employed for higher return. Also, hanging onto these lack-lustre stocks reduces the overall return of your portfolio.



  • The first is when you need money to make an investment in an even better company at a better price, which occasionally happens. 
  • The second is when the company looks like it is going to lose it durable competitive advantage.  A questionable competitive advantage is not where you want to keep your money long-term. (An example:  Nokia's Cautionary Tale)
  • The third is during bull markets when the stock market, in an insane buying frenzy, sends the prices of these fantastic businesses through the ceiling. 

No comments: