Well, as I write it's a bit of a black Monday, happening on the gloomiest day of the year. Now you know why I keep banging on about stop losses. The real question is will it stop here or is there worse to come?
The point is, it doesn't matter whether you are in a good company or bad, they will all come down and there ain't nothing you can do about it and it's better to stand aside which is what I've done in the main.
No-one is ever forced to trade and trying to pick the bottom of shares is just too much of a dangerous game. Why try and bottom pick when chances are there could be worse to come?
Well, thank goodness I took all those profits in the last week or so - I banked nearly £20,000 of profit, lucky for me and went into mainly cash in both isas and on spreadbets.
Which means despite today's falls I still made the best start ever to any year.
What's proved the most invaluable thing to be in the last 6 months is shorting the FTSE and I've been sort of in a short for most of the time reaping some very big rewards.
There is some good news out of all this turmoil though especially I think for new investors thinking of coming into the market because at some time this year sentiment will change and there will be a lot of money to be made.
And if the market falls further newer investors coming in could be buying shares at fantastic prices!
Anyway what have I been up to? I've continued to be quite ruthless and cut back on everything, either by cutting or coming out altogether. I've made a lot of money recently... why risk giving some of it back?
So I continue to sit on a pile of cash and massive leverage in my spread accounts waiting for the turn, whenever it comes. In the meantime I will try and take advantage of the downturn with the odd short or two.
So latest action from me is: I've been adding new FTSE shorts as the market tumbles. On Friday for a fiver at 5986 and another fiver at 5970. Which makes me short by £15 now.
The original FTSE short is now up nearly £5,000! Again I have no idea of targets etc as I just don't know and will play them by ear probably using one or two of them as profit takers if the market recovers. However I think I would stay with the basic fiver short for some time as I can't see recovery above 6000 for a while unless President Bush comes up with something spectacular.
I've also gone back into a Rightmove (RMV) short - going in again for £10 at 380. Target 330 stop 410. And I have opened up a new short this time in Shire (SHP) for a fiver at 1067. Target 950 stop 1120 . And also I'm back shorting old favourite Next at 1365 for a fiver. Target 1250 stop 1400.
I suspect I'd clear out of some of those if there was a big bounce.. at the moment not totally sure!
Now onto some cutbacks and cutting losers etc.
Marchpole's joy on Friday didn't follow through in the afternoon or early this morning so I cut the 10,000 shares (just a gamble) at 38 for a profit of £100.
I had intended to be a buyer of Dragon in the 350s but ended up selling a few more at 355.5 this morning as sellers came in. No use trying to battle a tide. For web purposes I could claim quite large profits on most positions but I'll close the losing one for £127 and the last spreadbet at 358 for a profit of £285. It's going to be an absolutely cracking top up when the time is right. Unless there is armageddon in the markets I would expect to hold onto the other positions bought at way lower prices. Looks like a lot of the oils are beginning to look very cheap but again it's a question of marrying that with sentiment and of course the price of oil.
I also cut the stop losser HTG position at 653 for a loss of £291. So, loss for the site today of £33. (Happy with that considering!)
Big star ratings to shares I own that have amazingly stayed level during the meleee.. so well done Telecom Plus where I've nearly doubled and good old BH Macro which continues to go up and nearly 300 points profit now. I'm just about hanging onto the palmies Anglo and MP, close decision at the moment. Nbpo hasn't tanked totally though glad I halved my position last week. Could be a nice buy again soon as a top up. and a 6p dividend is coming my way which is worth at least £200.
Of course when a market tanks by so much there is usually some kind of rally afterwards and it's important I think for me not to get sucked into any rally for the time being by buying too much. There is so much fear about that any big rally could simply see more selling coming in eventually.
And of course with the market moving so fast anything I try and say will probably look silly by the next update!
Good luck to any of you still battling in there - for right now I have few positions open and those that are have been cut back. It seems the sensible thing to do. One thing is for sure, I feel a hell of a lot more relaxed! After all medium term investing is a long term game and there is no need to always hold a lot of shares.