I somehow feel compelled to share a look back on what has been my first year investing in individual companies.

Whilst I've not posted on the discussion threads, I regularly look in to see what others are up to, picking up any tips/advice along the way - thanks to all that contribute (Ed, Graham, and Paul need a special mention).

I decided to jump in back in January - bad start already as it turned to be the peak of the year (mistake 1). Not really having any idea how to value a company I decided to jump in and 'figure it out' as I went along (mistake 2). In the first two to three months I'd deployed something in the region of a third of my cash in to two companies I now would not have touched with a barge pole as they were way over valued (mistake 3). Guess I was caught out by 'the fear of missing out'.

One of those companies is now down 79%, the other is down 42%. Thanks to a video Ed posted that covered cutting losses after profit warnings earlier this year, thankfully I was sensible enough to bale out at a losses that were 'just' about bearable (lesson learnt 1). I now have a much better understanding on how to value a company (lesson learnt 2) all much aided by the information/ranks found here (n.b. I bought in to these two before joining here). I've also 'traded' much more than I thought, it's surprising how these costs can add up (lesson learnt 3). More generally (lesson 4) 'be patient'.

On a positive note - whilst it's been a bit of a baptism of fire - I've probably learnt more in the first year than if the market was 'playing nice'. Surprisingly I've just calculated my percentage loss for the year at 10.6%. Equally surprisingly (for now at least) I've not got despondent, and I'm looking forward to 'round 2' in 2019. Happy New Year all.

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