I have a 2-car garage. There are nice shelves on one side and a good practical workbench with a vice on the other side. Plenty of room for 2 cars yet I have to be careful when I pull in so I won't run over stuff stacked on each side. Sound familiar?
Kinda reminds me of the investment portfolio of many people. Full of junk. If I threw out almost all of that stuff I really wouldn't miss it. For whatever crazy reason I still have a stock certificate of 100 shares for a copper mine in Cuba. You know how much that is worth. Fortunately, I don't have any of those now defunct dot.com company shares.
Oh, I did own a lot of technology issues in 1999 and into 2000, but when they started down I put in my stop-loss orders and someone bought them from me. I sure hope he still doesn't have them. Some have no value at all now and others are worth less than 10% of their high prices. I remember Priceline.com when it went to $104 and then took a nosedive to $2.00. I even made a nice profit in the mutual fund Janus 20 that took off from $40 and went to $93. Today it is $37. The Buy and Hold crowd have become the Buy and Prey people. Needless to say your broker did not call you to sell out with a profit. No, he said, “Don't worry the market always comes back". Maybe not in your lifetime.
I have not been very careful about keeping the junk out of my garage, but I have not collected many pretty stock certificates that have no value. Once each month I have taken about 15 minutes to see what is going on with my money. That is what is supposed to take care of me when I do not choose to work any more and I know Social Security is not going to be enough.
When that bull market was raging I made sure that I was not going to give back the profits I made. I placed following loss limits on each of my securities every month. You really should do it weekly, but I did not seem to have the time. A good friend of mine taught me to place what is called Good ‘Til Cancelled Stop-Loss Orders. The are also called GTC stop orders. This has been the difference in my having more money in my retirement account today. If I had not done this I would have less than half of what I have now. Don't let that happen to you.
If you have a lot of worthless securities or those that are still going down I think you should give serious consideration to cleaning out that portfolio and putting those funds in a cash money market account until you can find something that will make you some money.
You can live with a messy garage, but you can't live with no money in your retirement account. Clean out the weak ones now before they become worthless.
Al Thomas’ book, “If It Doesn't Go Up, Don't Buy It!" has helped thousands of people make money and keep their profits with his simple 2-step method. Read the first chapter at http://www.mutualfundmagic.com and discover why he's the man that Wall Street does not want you to know.
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