As an investor, one can limit the impact of costs, taxes and other potential adverse outcomes. ETFs, for example, are a great way to reduce both costs and taxes.
Even more important, an investor can make certain that they do not suffer big losses on investments by accepting smaller losses. Of course this is easier said than done, but it shows the importance of not falling in love with a stock, a company, or a particular investing theme.
A good example of this would have been to expect oil to soar to more than $200 per barrel, as many top investment professionals did. Feeling that oil would climb this high, one may have purchased United States Oil (USO), perhaps at a price well above $100 per share. However, as oil prices fell and USO selling at $91 per share on Monday, the tendency to fall in love with this investing theme would leave an investor with a quick and substantial loss.
It’s a good reminder to stick with your plan – sell when it drops 8% of the high or falls below its 200-day moving average.