Why I don’t mind being wrong

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Jan 31

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

The S&P 500 crashed 1.6% on Wednesday, ouch!

It was a perfect storm between “disappointing” earnings from GOOGL and MSFT and Powell telling investors the Fed doesn’t have plans to cut rates in March. None of these things were bad; in fact, GOOGL and MSFT earnings were actually good. Unfortunately, stocks have gotten so expensive that good is no longer good enough, and anything short of great leads to disappointment.

As I wrote Monday, I bought the 4,900 breakout, so this wave of selling wasn’t great for my position. Luckily, I bought it early Monday and had a nice profit cushion protecting my backside. As I wrote readers Monday evening:

I have no idea how long this rally will last, but given Monday afternoon’s nice gains, my stops have already been lifted to my entry points, turning this into a low-risk trade.

If this turns out to be a climax top and prices crash next week, no big deal. I pull the plug at my stops and follow the market in the other direction. But until that actually happens, I’m riding Monday’s wave higher.

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Sure, I will be the first to admit buying Monday’s breakout was a mistake. But since I entered that trade early and lifted my stops to my entry points, this mistake didn’t cost me anything. It’s like a free lottery ticket. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, no big deal, I get out near breakeven and try again next time.

If a person can’t handle being wrong, this is definitely the wrong game to be playing. For the rest of us, we come at this with a proactive trading plan that protects us when things don’t work out.

And to be honest, I don’t even like calling Monday’s buy a mistake because it was a good trade, and I’d do it again every chance I get. Sure, it didn’t work this time. But do it often enough, and several of those trades will bring in nice profits.

Coincidentally enough, this is exactly what I did at the 4,400, 4,600, and 4,800 breakouts. Batting 0.750 isn’t bad. If that’s what being wrong looks like, I’m happy to be wrong.

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About the Author

Jani Ziedins (pronounced Ya-nee) is a full-time investor and financial analyst that has successfully traded stocks and options for nearly three decades. He has an undergraduate engineering degree from the Colorado School of Mines and two graduate business degrees from the University of Colorado Denver. His prior professional experience includes engineering at Fortune 500 companies, small business consulting, and managing investment real estate. He is now fortunate enough to trade full-time from home, affording him the luxury of spending extra time with his wife and two children.