Dan Sweet

How not to invest.

I am not good at trading. I try to be honest with myself, admit that, and avoid trading. However, in our Jim Cramer/Fast Money era it seems like you are leaving money on the table if you don’t have at least a couple positions on at all times.

Here is a summary of my trades of the last 4 years or so.

Trade #1 (Winner) – Buy Gold via CEF with gold at $600 back in 2008ish? Sell at $1000+ and rebuy at $900. Just sold again at $1500+ last week. 2.5x

Trade #2 (Winner) – Close all positions with market at roughly 11,000 in fall 2008 when I see on C-SPAN that Congress isn’t going to pass first TARP bill. I look like a hero as market falls to 6,000ish. Avoid getting cut in half.

No Trade #2.5 (Loser) – I never rebuy. Buffett say its time to buy, I see 4,000 around the corner and take a pass. Market now at 12,000+ and all of a sudden Trade #2 doesn’t look so great. Miss an easy double.

Trade #3 (Loser) – Try to make money shorting commercial real estate over a long period of time using a short term structured ETF. Very bad idea, lose lots of money. I suck at trading. I’m reminded yet again to not even play if you aren’t going to put the work in. Lose 75% of position.

Trade #4 (Winner) – Buy SLV at $13.89. Sell last week at $45ish. 3x

Net – I’m basically completely flat over those 4 years. Basically on par with the market.

I’m completely in cash now but want to get back in and “set it and forget it.”

Current shopping list looks like this:
Buy CEF (Canadian gold trust)

This passes the Warren Buffett test where hypothetically the market closes tomorrow for 10 years. I’d feel just fine owning these three. Keep it simple.

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