The pain

I use this journal as an outlet for my emotions. Sometimes, the timing is not great, because of what is happening in the world. Now is such a time.

I could be a father living in Ukraine and not knowing whether I’ll be alive tomorrow to feed my children. Would I know how to give them the psychological support they would need in such scary times? Would I be strong enough not to show fear?

I pray for Ukraine. The world prays for Ukraine. We are all in awe of their courage and we wish for them to be able to carry on with their lives without fearing that their cities could be invaded and sieged any day.

That being said, I also have feelings about my own life, and as petty as they are, I need to get them out of my system. Which is part of why I write. It’s a cleaning process.

While I’m down around 20% year-to-date, that’s not what hurts the most. The real source of pain is that I was in the oil stocks just weeks ago, and I had a decent position (about 10% of my portfolio) spread among several Canadian tickers. But I sold, only keeping a tiny position, and they all ripped higher.

The lessons

I see three reasons behind my decision to sell and three take-aways or items to improve going forward:

  • Inexperience: I didn’t trust my gut. As I was listening to George Nobel vociferate on Twitter spaces about energy all day every day, I started to think: “Who on Fintwit is NOT long energy already?! This is clearly a bubble, and I don’t have an edge here!”. Turns out, I was wrong. Many, many people were much later to the part than I was. But I didn’t hold on because my bias is to think that everyone is smarter than me. Turns out, I might not be the brightest, but I’m mentally more flexible than most. I just have to embrace it.

  • Laziness: I didn’t do the work. Or should I say, I didn’t do the deep work. I flirted with a lot of ideas, but I didn’t go deep in any of them. Therefore my conviction was shallow, and I was easily shaken out. Conviction can only come from deep work: reading 10Ks, listening to earning calls or CEO interviews, etc. I’m getting better at it.

  • Balance: I wasn’t sleeping well, I wasn’t exercising, and my overall schedule was chaotic. I was also in the midst of a job transition. Add in the war threats from Russia and the stress from thinking about it…I was just in a very bad shape to make any rational decision. I need to keep my health, my sleeping pattern, and my thoughts in check. Running regularly (maybe swimming or just walking could help too), waking up early, reading good books, eating less chocolate. Sounds menial, but I need to get the basics sorted out.

Until next time, stay cool & stay invested!