Stock Commentary

Meaningful things readers learned in FY23

Merkado Barkada
Meaningful things readers learned in FY23

Thank you to the 100+ readers who participated in the first Free Stuff Friday survey to share with the group an important lesson they learned about trading or investing in 2023. Thank you also to Plentitude Chocolates for sponsoring the survey and introducing us to its award-winning chocolates. 

Last time we confessed our sins; this time we hopefully do something more productive. Just like with the confessional, I’m going to share some of the (anonymized) responses that I received. No names or identifying info.

In 2023, readers learned:

  • “Never fall in love with a stock. Always have an exit plan.”

  • “Meaningful investing is a whole lot of waiting. If you find yourself bored, you’re on the right track.”

  • “You can study everything, make analysis, but at the end of the day trading or investing is still a ‘gamble’.”

  • “Don’t take it personally when your analysis is right but the market deviates from our idea due to some unforeseen circumstances.”

  • “Pay attention to management fees! They get paid whether you make money or not.”

  • “When the market is bearish, just take a breather and have faith in the long-term strategy as initially planned.”

  • “Cut my losses if my trading plan didn’t work out.”

  • “The two-stage gordon growth model which is helpful for me as a long-term investor who prefers dividend-paying stocks.”

  • “There’s no rush.”

  • “For crypto, don’t email your private keys to yourself. BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN.”

  • “You can’t follow somebody else’s investment strategy; you have to follow your own.”

  • “Nobody really knows what is going to happen.”

  • “Transfer steady amounts to my brokerage account, even if it’s small. I won’t be tempted to spend that little amount if it’s in the brokerage account.”

  • “Moderate my fear and hesitation.”

  • “When the market whispers, listen. When it shouts, it’s already too late.”

  • “The buying strategy doesn’t matter as much as the selling discipline and risk management.”

  • “I don’t have to trade when the market sucks, I can just research more on my strategy and be ready for when it gets better.”

  • “The market doesn’t care about me at all. That’s not new, but it got easier to trade when I felt that inside.”

  • “Don’t get FOMO and experiment half-assedly with new trading styles. Improve what you know.”

MB BOTTOM-LINE: Reading through the responses, it was clear to me the ones that were learned with a cold slap from the market’s uncaring hand, but it was also quite interesting to try and mentally reverse-engineer the lesson to see what circumstances could have led up to what was actually learned. There’s a clear connection between the investing sins that MB readers revealed in the Confessional and the lessons that they reported as part of today’s raffle. I really appreciated the chance to read all of the responses. I don’t have anything punchy, but I’ll just say this: I try to always think of the market like it’s the ocean. It might have predictable tides, and you might develop comfort with the size and frequency of its waves, but you can never know for certain what it will do on any given day. The size of the ocean is much larger than it looks, and its depth is much greater than I could reasonably learn about, so all I’m dealing with is just one really small edge of what is a massive soup of variables. I love the water, but I also fear it. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that there are no risk-free trips on a boat, regardless of how small or large the boat, or how quick or long the trip. Thinking this way helps me to stay in my lane. Thanks everyone, that was fun!

Merkado Barkada is a free daily newsletter on the PSE, investing and business in the Philippines. You can subscribe to the newsletter or follow on Twitter to receive the full daily updates.

Merkado Barkada's opinions are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any particular stock. These daily articles are not updated with new information, so each investor must do his or her own due diligence before trading, as the facts and figures in each particular article may have changed.

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