In the early days, I sold almost all my positions on 10-25% gains. But just watching the market every day, buying and selling a few shares, I started seeing the ebbs and flows, the patterns, I was slowly becoming a trader.
In 2018 I changed jobs, and having learned my early career lesson, I rolled my 401k into a managed IRA. Same broker, who also managed many of the other large accounts from the company I was leaving. After completing the paperwork, and making the transfer, I didn’t hear from the account manager for 2 years.
I definitely have some responsibility in this, but for the next 2 years the market was on fire, and my IRA was almost flat. As the market continued to climb, and my frustration continued to grow, I finally decided to move my account to a self direct IRA in 2020. My wife took quite a bit of convincing for her to agree to let me manage our finances. She couldn’t understand how I could possibly do a better job than a professional money manager.
One of the things I didn’t realize at the time, money managers goals are not to make their clients money. Talk about a shocker! For most, their primary goal, is to have as much money under management as possible.
There are a number of other advantages to managing your own account, but I’ll save it for another newsletter.
I finally got all the paperwork done and the account open on Feb 7th 2020, and then set and watched my account for day after day waiting on it to fund. Everyday, I researched investments, and watched them go higher and higher. I stayed up nights with anticipation, and logged on twice a day to check if my account funded.
Finally, on Friday Feb 21st 2020, funds hit the account. It was a red day in the market, most of the index funds and few individual stocks I had been watching were on sale, so a great day to buy. I was traveling that day, so at market open I bought starter positions in all the companies & funds I had been researching, then I added throughout the day every time I stopped and saw the price had dipped a little.
Monday, the 24th, was a little red too, so I kept buying the dip. I didn’t keep track like I do now, but I was probably 80%-90% invested by the end of the day.
On Tuesday the 25th, the bottom fell out. Then Thursday the 27th, the bottom fell out of the bottom. And then it just kept going down. I added my last few dollars on the way down, but there wasn’t much to do but ride it out. I may not be the most experienced investor, but I knew selling at the bottom was a pretty bad idea. So I did the only thing I could to stay sane, I stopped watching every tick of price changes, turned off the brokerage app, and waited for the market to find a bottom.