Keep Your Investment Profits

By: Al Thomas

Did you take the profit or did you watch the equity drop back down to what you paid for it? I hope you sold and kept the money. That’s what it
is all about. So many times when I was a broker I have seen customers make large profits and then think they were omniscient about trading
and within a short period give back what they had made.

As a brokerage company owner I had seasoned brokers do the sane thing. One of my men made $150,000 in a short time. I called to congratulate his performance and suggested he take a vacation from trading for a while. He said, “No, Al, I know what I am doing". The very next month he lost $155,000. What happened?

Listen carefully as I am going to tell you one of the great truisms not found in the trading training manuals.

If you are doing any trading whether in stocks, mutual funds, real estate, currencies, whatever, this applies. Print this out, frame it and put it up on your office wall. “Making a lot of money is just as upsetting to your mind as losing a lot of money".

A big score destabilizes thinking. Many people want to do it again and again so they immediately plunge back into their investments with their winning cash and make bigger bets. It is almost without exception that they become losers and give back their winnings.

For many years I have advocated taking time off after a big profit. It takes time to get your head on straight again. As a former floor trader I would have about 6 or 8 times during the year when I made a good “hit". Then I would  mmediately call my travel agent to ask where I could go for a week. I knew I must get away because my investment strategy would be clouded by success.

Too many of the big winners seem to alter their basic trading plan because they now had a large amount with which to trade causing them to deviate from their successful pattern. They then became losers. Because of their success their
thinking changed and they were not aware of what had happened. The trader must get away and let his emotions down. A disturbing event, even a positive one, can alter up your thinking. If you want to keep yourinvestment profits you must keep your emotions under control.

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