5 Years of Trading: The Sell Story

One of my informal new years resolutions was to get a grasp on my stock trading in 2014. To start, I wanted to balance my portfolio so it’s less risky and more focused on dividends (thanks to some insight from a reader, I made some significant moves in January I’ll be posting about later.)

This post, however, is about how much money I’ve missed out on in hindsight with poor trading choices. I’m looking only at my taxable Sharebuilder account at the moment. Since 2008, according to my Sharebuilder account history, I’ve made 372 trades.

21 of those were sell orders.

It turns out that selling the shares has — based on share prices today turned into a $10,211 loss.

Granted, with the exception of my car purchase, paid for by half my Apple stock, I put the funds right back to work in other stocks. I’m trying to figure out if those stocks performed better than the ones I pulled out of (and still beat the $168 in sell fees at $8 per trade.)

By far the biggest missed opportunity was in selling Apple when it was down, but I’ve recently sold off even more AAPL to better diversify (more on that later.) This, of course, doesn’t take into account the cost to actually sell the shares (or buy them.) Part of my resolution is to better understand the total expense of buying and selling on individual shares so I can properly compare their earnings/losses to my low-fee Vanguard funds et al.

Some of these were very impulse buys and clearly impulse sells. Moral of story – impulse sells generally dumb idea.

Note – the below “lost/gain” is only accounting for the difference in price between the date I sold the shares and the value today. This does not include any additional gains or losses on shares purchased. I’ll cover that in another post. 

Stock Shares Sold Sale Share $ Today $ Sale Price Gap Lost/Gain
OSTK -69.7362 $7.98 $19.43 $548.54 $11.45 -$798.48
COMV -1278.8363 $1.4 $1.75* $1782.42 $.35 -$447.59
PBD -32.849 $9.01 $12.11 $288.02 $3.10 -$101.83
ENOC -19.1743 $9.32 $21.09 $170.75 $11.77 -$225.68
GLD -5.8054 $161.07 $121.29 $927.13 -$39.78 $230.94
CVX -5.6696 $104.43 $109.52 $584.13 $5.09 -$28.86
XLF -333.2679 $14.6 $20.71 $4857.76 $6.11 -$2,036.27
KOL -2.9796 $35.44 $17.35 $97.65 -$18.09 $53.90
EPI -51.2841 $21.04 $16.08 $1071.07 -$4.96 $254.37
F -47.6795 $12.45 $14.73 $585.66 $2.28 -$108.71
EWZ -3.5739 $69.59 $39.08 $240.76 -$30.51 $109.04
CSCO -143.6651 $19.91 $21.98 $2852.42 $2.07 -$297.39
CBOU -134 $10.14 $16.00* $1350.93 -$5.86 -$785.24
AND -153.5133 $13.49 $9.47 $2062.94 -$4.02 $617.06
SPLK -13 $27.8 $77.29 $353.45 $49.49 -$643.37
BV -19 $14.14 $7.02 $260.71 -$7.12 $135.28
HYG -26.8168 $92.19 $92.70 $2465.29 $0.51 -$13.68
AAPL -10 $445.65 $512.69 $4449.55 $67.04 -$670.40
INTC -164.0793 $21 $23.52 $3437.72 $2.52 -$413.48
MSFT -16.3785 $27.62 $35.82 $444.42 $8.20 -$134.30
AAPL -43 $410 $519.69 $17623.05 $109.69 -$4,716.67
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2 thoughts on “5 Years of Trading: The Sell Story”

    1. Yes. I need to run some more numbers to see just how much of the opportunity I lost. This is only taking into account my missed opportunity on selling (a lot of these stocks were down a lot from what I paid for them when I sold and also took them time to recover, vs investing in better / less risky stocks with the proceeds.) But – AAPL hurts – esp everytime I sell more AAPL to better diversify.

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