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Lessons in human irrationality, including mine.

Don’t panic. Don’t sell your stock because it’s going down. Sell it only if you feel its prospects have seriously worsened. Or it’s hit your inviolate stop-loss level – say 10%, 12%, or 15%.

Today I see that my biggest “loser” is Square (SQ). But it’s also among my biggest gainers and also one of my bigger positions. So I have to learn to temper my emotions when I see red on my Fidelity Active Trader Pro screen.

Think company fundamentals and don’t get crazied out by words like “The Dow is in Correction Territory” or “The Trump Bump Turns into The Trump Dump.”

The media’s business — mine too — is pumping out words. Sometimes — often times — it’s better to stay silent, go for a walk, or, better, play tennis.

Skip the words. Stop reading.

Here’s Nasdaq over the past five days. Looks gruesome.


But here’s Nasdaq over the past year. Looks better. It bounced back from the early February lows.  It will bounce back from these lows. So far, they’re not as low as February’s.

I’m confident of an upcoming bounce. Hence I’m not doing anything,


Except I will admit to selling my few shares in Tesla. I’m a big Elon fan and a long-term Tesla fan. I’ll buy my shares back when they get cheaper.

This “timing game” is totally insane.  I know. Tesla has been getting awful press lately (except in Australia, where it’s doing really well.) We’ll see.

Some reader opinions:

Alan, a reader wrote:


I have respected your opinions for a long time and I moved almost all our Vanguard funds to Vanguard money markets for now.  After Rex Tillerson was fired by tweet, the inmates are in charge of the prison and distractions from Mueller will become painful and financially significant.
Technology stocks, many you’ve recommended, are still held (TSLA, nVidia, Apple, ADSK).  I believe those companies are selling the tools to the gold miners and are not actually mining the gold.  They will probably dip, but in the long run will come back around.

Chuck, a reader, wrote:

Interest rates are going up . Run-away deficits are forcing the government to sell record amounts of bonds without the Fed and other buyers. The tide has turned.

The Trump chaos is going to get much worse. His embracing Putin and attacking Mueller indicates he’s in serious trouble. A “trade” war may be the lesser of our worries regarding his actions.

BOLTON will convince Trump to wage war on somebody — take your pick North Korea, Iran. It could even be Qatar where we have over 11 thousand troops!

 Thursday, (that was yesterday) two things happened:

+ Trump fired McMasters as his National Security Advisor and hired John Bolton, a super-hawk, as his new National Security Advisor.

+ China retaliated against Trump’s new tariffs by announcing plans for tariffs against $3 billion in U.S. goods.

China’s Commerce Ministry released a list of U.S. imports, from fruit to pork and recycled aluminum and steel pipes that would be subject to higher tariffs. (No details announced yet.)

American consumers will pay more for products made from steel and aluminum. Chinese consumers will pay more for American food they love.

The liberal press is freaked out by Trump hiring super-hawk John Bolton, one of the few people who will say publicly — even today– that the Iraq War was a good idea!

Bolton basically thinks war is The Answer. I don’t. I don’t think Trump does either. But Trump likes throwing down strong opening chips — “Look what I could do.” — and then backing off, as he did with the steel and aluminum tariffs. Which now exclude all the countries that love us, including Australia.

The Economist has a piece today on Bolton and what it means. It’s worth reading. Click here. 

Good evidence of human stupidity





Harry Newton, who’s looking forward to his kids arriving this weekend. I bought one of these for Peter, 2, who loves dunking:


I bought it online from Walmart, then went to their local store and picked it up. I was seriously impressed with what I saw of Walmart during my brief visit. They’ve embraced technology big-time. They even offered to carry the hoop to my car. (Do I look that feeble?) You can buy one for your basketball-crazed kid here.