If you haven't realized it already, the recent shift of the market will put convictions to test. Remember that small-cap or momentum stock you loved a few weeks ago? Do you love it more down 20% or 30% or are you hitting eject?
We feel like we're trapped in a death by a thousand papercuts trading environment. While indexes are near highs, my momentum watchlists have bled lower a considerable amount. This is when a question of conviction comes into play. Do you not only know what you own but why you own it?
The market has been forgiving for way too long. When you can get bailed out of a bad purchase simply because everything else rallied around it, you develop bad habits. You buy tickers instead of companies. That's fine when you are trading, not so much if you're holding.
I know I'm getting beat up on many of my small and midcap holdings, but I'm not losing sleep over it. Do I get a bit annoyed watching the bleed? Of course. That's natural. But I won't pull the plug unless the story changes. Much of that revolves around the market as a whole. Most of my small picks that are getting beat up are just a half-dozen of thousands that have gotten slammed. They aren't down because something in their business misfired. They are lower because the risk appetite for the market has shifted away from entire sectors and market cap sizes.
It's possible I'll add as we continue to fall. Fortunately, I haven't leveraged anything to own the names. Could I watch them go to zero and not have my life altered? Yes and no. Financially, I could still pay my bills and continue my same lifestyle. Emotionally, I'll kick myself if I ride anything to zero. That means I missed a change in the story, or worse, ignored it.
However, when I look at a small name like Draganfly (DFLYF) , a company that reported earnings over the weekend, I see they grew revenues over 200%, hit the target range of their forecasts, have a run rate that points to another 200%-300% revenue gains for 2021, and continues to execute. Despite this, shares have been cut in half over the past six weeks. Nothing changed in terms of the story or the financial models, so I'm only a seller here if technicals are my driving factors. Rarely, if ever, do I let technicals drive the bus for a small or microcap stock that I plan to hold for months or years.
At some point, the momentum and frothy traders will return, but the current action should be a solid lesson. You'll likely need itchy trigger fingers on the sell side. If you're going to buy names without a disciplined stop, then make sure you're buying stories you believe in and you follow those stories closely. When they change, you need to be ready to bail and if the stocks get unfairly beaten, then you should be ready to add.