Once Bitten, Twice Shy
Over the past 9 months or so my investing "style" in my Roth IRA has evolved from a long-term investment approach to more of a swing trade account. This is due primarily to my reluctance to hold individual stocks after they have gained more than 30% or so in value, fearing that they will suddenly drop and I will lose all my profits. So even though I have picked many winners and have realized a 30% gain in my account overall in 2009, I am guilty of selling many of my picks far too soon.
Probably the best example was IRE. I speculated back in March that the stock was ridiculously under-valued so I picked up a few shares at under $2. When the share price reached $4 it seemed like a good idea to sell half and play with "house money". Then when it went up to more than $6, I reasoned that it would pull back and probably would not go much higher and I sold my remaining shares. I'm kicking myself now as the share price reached $20 just a few months later. It coulda been my first 10-bagger!
Then I repeated the mistake with RJET (got in under 5, sold at 8 and watched it reach 10), GNW and a few others. But I feel that I am learning from my mistakes and it's all money that I am willing to risk anyway since I have other safer investments that I don't trade in and out of.
Just wanted to share my experience and wondering if others have similar stories.