Every successful investor will inevitably face this numerous times in their career. External stresses or internal emotions build up and cloud the decision making process that once helped them consistently do well in the markets. Let’s take Steve here as an example: Steve has been trading US stocks using a disciplined approach for 15 years. He has profited each year but has lost his touch recently as all of his trades are in the red (losing) and getting worse. His mood becomes worrisome as he begins to question his process and his ability. He then hesitates to buy investments that he normally would and at the first hint of trouble he sells his investments only to see the market turn again and race ahead without him.
Another football season has come and gone as the Seattle Seahawks ended up on top as Super Bowl Champions. Anyone who follows the sport knows thatthey were the clear underdog coming into the final game as they had to face arguably one of the best quarterbacks of all time, Peyton Manning. Not only that, Peyton had just finished the best offensive performance of all time as he shattered numerous records during the year. Yet the 25-year-old quarterback, Russell Wilson, led his team to victory in what was truly complete team domination. After the game Seahawks coach Pete Carroll stated "We envisioned this from day one. We prepared for this. We expected this. We deserved this."
As we look back at 2013, we acknowledge a strong year for equities where the overall market finally advanced after a sideways move that lasted for close to 3 years. One of the main proponents for this breakout was the reemergence of the energy sector that finally increased after a multi-year decline. This was impressive given that Canadian mergers & acquisitions plunged 80% last year as activity was muted due to low commodity prices, high oil sands project costs, and competition from US basins. Most trends that we analyze affect a company’s top line (revenues) but we sometimes forget the vast developments in technology that lead to substantial cost savings for that company and affect the bottom line (profits).