June 3, 2009
Posted: 1938 GMT
Tonight’s Profitable Moment – greed is not pleasant to witness and never more so when exhibited by oneself. In this case when I have been playing the fruitless game – If Only!
Back in January I bought 1,000 Barclay shares at 63 pence. Pretty much at the low point in the market. Since then I have kept you informed about the profits on these shares – More by good luck, I bought at the bottom of the market and am now showing a tidy sum. enough to buy muffins around the office ... muffins enough probably for the whole building
I did this experiment to show you in real terms examples of money being made and lost on volatile stock markets at times of recession. This demonstration has worked better than I could have hoped.
Unforutnately today I am concentrating not on the money I have actually made – but rather on the profit I could have made if I had bought more shares.
I keep thinking IF ONLY I had bought 10 times as many shares I would have oh, so much more money in the bank. IF ONLY I had ridden the market up and down, selling and buying back earlier, I would have more shares and more profits.
In the past few days Barclays’s share prices has come back by about 15 percent – because of the sale by Abu Dhabi investors. Again I am again IF ONLY, if only I had known about this proposed sale then of course I could have sold high and bought back low. (I am distresed, of course, that they seem to have made more than £1.4 billion in less than a few months; rumoured to be the fastest profit ever made in the London market.)
IF ONLY this. IF ONLY that. Often it seems my entire financial strategy is based on the mantra, coulda – shoulda, woulda.
It is pathetic that often I fixate on the money I have not made, rather than the real money I have put into the bank. This has nothing to do with profitable investing. It goes against everything I was ever taught about long-term value investing. It is greed pure and simple.