Before the recent pullback I wanted to gauge sentiment a bit differently by assuming the trader was profitable. With the recent run in equities it’s hard to believe that someone wouldn’t be up so I presupposed the gains were 35%. Depending on the account size, that’s not a bad start to the year so I threw it out there and got back 54 respondents to this question:
If you were up 35% for the year what would you do?
Three of the answers (trade smaller, take the rest of the year off and cut back the number of positions) would key negatively. The only positively keyed answer was to focus on what’s working with the RIA question thrown in as a BS detector. I’ll admit that I was a taken aback by the number of respondents that said they were going to focus on what’s working. Perhaps that could be accounted for by the quality of people that chose to participate, given that they were all users of twitter and StockTwits. After all, most educated traders know what a great resource social media is for creating investing ideas and StockTwits is leading the way in that area.
Bottom line is that we tend to focus on what we are doing wrong so we can improve, right? Perhaps the presupposition that the account was up and the forced choice answer skewed the results. Perhaps not. When you have solid gains and something IS working, that’s the time to go for the kill. Replicate whatever it is that’s working, again and again. There will come a time that tweaking and adjustments will be needed, then you can focus on what’s wrong.
One a side note, one of the “other” responses that I liked and wanted to comment on said to “Try harder – little guys can do much better than that.” This is so true. I never said how large the account was so if it’s a 10K account, you can’t do much with that but if you’re running a 1MM account then that’s a decent return for the year, let alone two months. Thanks to those of you that participated.