So when do I sell?

So when do I sell?  I hate this question.  Below is the exact question I found in the comments section from my great friend Stephen Bishop.  Stephen is an investment advisor in Nova Scotia (God’s country), and he is the stereotypical ‘maverick’ – makes me look like a pussy.

So when do I sell my SU, CVE, CPG, COS, etc.?
I don’t want to give up the nice gains but I also don’t want to leave the party before the Strippers show up…
What say you Yoda?

I was pretty adamant (in agreeing with you) that you should “buy” banks in February of 2009 wasn’t I?  I don’t recall you asking me when to sell them (laughin out friggin’ loud).  You’re asking no doubt because you’re head is asking “How come everyone is suddenly thinkin’ what I was thinkin’ six months ago?”  Am I right?  I’ve seen you that look on your face.   

Bishop in Arizona – Bike Week 2006

I alway leave lots on the table (it’s my curse) by selling early, but then I hate parties.  And we both know in this kind of party the last man standing is left with a huge mess.  I guess the right answer is trim, or sell when you least want to do it (emotionally) and move on.  It’s the road you’re on that matters once make a detour, not the one you left behind.

No doubt, it’s charts (or the run up in price) like this (Suncor) that make me and you nervous:

Suncor - to the 'moon' or is it enough already?

The real answer is ‘don’t ask me for advice.’  I’m just another idiot, but ask yourself why you bought it.  If things aren’t the same, forget the fuzzy feeling that having called it right gives you (whenever that was) and find something else that suits your ‘maverick’ sensibilities today.  If there’s nothing that immediately turns your crank, then cash isn’t a bad place to be when short rates start rising is it?  In any event, I’m sure you’ll be anxious to either call me a genius or a fool to my face (depending on what happens to oil prices) in a couple of weeks, when both of us are resting from a day long ride in the dusty desert of Arizona once again.

Invest to Live, Live to Ride.


About Mal Spooner

Malvin Spooner is a veteran money manager, former CEO of award-winning investment fund management boutique he founded. He authored A Maverick Investor's Guidebook which blends his experience touring across the heartland in the United States with valuable investing tips and stories. He has been quoted and published for many years in business journals, newspapers and has been featured on many television programs over his career. An avid motorcycle enthusiast, and known across Canada as a part-time musician performing rock ‘n’ roll for charity, Mal is known for his candour and non-traditional (‘maverick’) thinking when discussing financial markets. His previous book published by Insomniac Press — Resources Rock: How to Invest in the Next Global Boom in Natural Resources which he authored with Pamela Clark — predicted the resources boom back in early 2004.
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