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Sunday, May 8, 2016

5/8/16 Update on Positions and Mini-Recap

The school year is almost about to end, which is nice. I feel like I've spent an exorbitant amount of my time studying this year, and I haven't really been able to devote as much time as I would have liked towards things that I would really have wanted to do. Granted, it's not like studying and schoolwork is a daily death sentence that I have to push through, but it gets very exhausting. The only reason why I am saying this, however, is because I feel like the volume and strategies of my trades during this year weren't filled with much excitement, to say the least.

The level of mental effort I could allocate towards trading wasn't really to the level where I generally want it to be, and a commonly accepted principle that I believe myself as well is that if the lifestyle one is leading is too busy for disciplined and relatively constant management of his or her portfolio, he or she would be much better off simply putting his or her money in an index fund or not invest it at all.

So for me, what I managed to get across was generally mid-length swing trades in companies that I believed had a desirable cushion in sheer fundamentals alone. Very few plays based off of technicals and chart patterns were executed in unstable companies with an iffy outlook.

This yielded in an okay way. It definitely doesn't compare some of the years I've had before, in which I made aggressive small-cap value plays like REGI. I didn't really dabble in companies with market caps of under 10 billion. But I also exposed myself to much less risk, especially given that I allocated a significant portion of my portfolio to market-mirroring ETF funds like SPY and XLP.

I don't anticipate this changing much for my next year as well. There will be even more challenges down the line that will likely have to warp my strategy into a more mid to long-term holding period minded.

Anyway, this is how my portfolio has fared recently.

SPY has been doing okay. It pushed up to a higher level since I bought it and hit resistance at 210. It's currently sitting on a 6% gain. I don't really know if it will find support in a moving average or if it will shoot down, but I honestly don't really care. This is for the med to long term and no stop losses will be found here.

XLP has been performing in a much more stable way over the entire 52 week period and I am happy with it. This is a good position for tempering market downturns, and given the overall fear that was present this past winter I like its consistency. But who cares about all of that? I'm in this for the mid to long term, I don't really see any other investments that I would like to be in that much more, so no stops will be found here.

This is because my overall outlook on the market is neutral positive for the following year, and I don't want to single out a certain company to invest in and expose myself to unnecessary risk.

My only truly speculative position is in SKX. But again, I have established already that this is going to be a mid to long-term hold as well. I have a positive outlook on its performance for next year and playing its earnings release turned out well for me. They beat expectations, setting me up with around a 6% pop after the first week of holding. But I've been staying hands off for a while now. It has gone back down somewhat, but in the long term of what I expect from this stock, the events that have happened over the past 2 weeks are still what I would consider stagnation.

Overall, I'm sitting on positions I'm happy with, and I am closing out the school year with a conservative allocation at least in my view.

As the summer comes around I might start selling off some of the funds from my ETF positions to trade more single companies. I might even do the same with SKX, but that will be a decision for later. If I decide to do it then, I will monitor their charts and sell at a period of relative strength and then look for prospective investments, investing when they are in periods of relative weakness.

I haven't decided on what I'm going to be also focusing on over the summer, but that decision will come later.

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