Goodbye, difficult 2015!
As we wind down for the year, I thought it would be good to share with you some lessons I was reminded of lately. This was on the subject of how to organize yourself to become better prepared physically and mentally in your personal and professional preoccupations for the coming year.
I was already starting to do a related, suggested step when I was reminded about it. It was to clean up the clatter on my desk and my small study room. They could be the various office supplies or bundles of unused writing papers strewn around your workplace or stacks of books and magazines piled on top of the other reaching a towering height on your desk.
Doing it takes some supreme determination. In my case, the act of deciding to do it was a problem that needed to be tackled. But when I finished the task, I felt accomplished and my outlook has improved.
The next task is to make your study room more cozy and roomy. Get rid of bulky or obsolete office equipment that take up precious space. Instead, invest in smaller, but even more effective office gadgets and furniture that help create a relaxing and refreshing workplace.
The third is to hone your computer skills wizardry, such as in Microsoft Office programs.
A housewife who learned how to make a simple Excel table that followed the progress of price gains or losses of her stock positions greatly improved her decision-making ability. She swears the simple system has improved her ability to decide when to buy or to sell. Back when she did not have her tables, she always felt very dependent on tips that left her become more a market loser than a winner.
Jason Kelly’s revised edition “The Neatest Little Guide to Stock Market Investing” has additional simple examples that help improve one’s ability to know when to buy or sell. Two of them are the “stock to watch worksheet” and “reasons and limits worksheet.”
The fourth is to learn how to avail of and use a cloud service. This is very helpful to those who are actively trading but likes to travel. You can access and work on your files through a cloud system wherever you are (Just make sure you have Internet connection). You can also recover your lost files just in case you have a glitch in your computer or when it is stolen or lost.
The fifth is to get rid of materials that you might have accumulated from social and related events. Surely, you could be a member of some civic organization. You could have, as well, attended lots of trade shows, conferences and other industry events during the year.
The materials that you accumulated from these events are like decorations that do not certainly add up to improve your performance in the market. Throw or give them away.
The last is to keep things that are not only helpful but give you joy. Accordingly, these may include things that “make you creative or more productive or propel you forward or hold you back.”
For more insights on this matter, take hold of the book entitled “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo. It’s a bestseller and a very good read on the subject.
Bottom line spin
The year 2015 was difficult and hard for stock market investors: It proved to be good only to those who were able to sell early in the year or to those who bought and sold during the three small rallies for the year. The year was definitely bad to those who got stuck all the way till the end of the year.
To recall, the market started the year at 7,230.57. In the next two months, it was able to tread on an undulating forward advance that produced a net gain of no less than 400 points or 5.5 percent.
In the following one and a half months or sometime on April 7, the market hit a high of 8,136.97. At this level, the market was up 906.4 points or 12.54 percent from its starting point of the year.
Suddenly, the market went on a downward spiral. On Aug. 24, it closed at 6,791.01 or 1,345.96 points below the market’s high of April 7.
The fall wiped out all gains of the first four months of the year. The market fell 16.54 percent, which was four percent more than the market’s initial gain of 12.54 percent.
The market tried to bounce back in the next 30 days but could only manage to close just over a hundred points above 7,000.
On Sept. 28, the market fell again to 6,815.59. It struggled to bounce back as it successfully closed at 7,138.91 on Oct. 9. But things turned from bad to worse from then on.
On Dec. 15, the market closed at the low of 6,701.35. This was 529.22 points or 7.3 percent below the year’s starting level of 7,230.57.
Last Wednesday, the market was again back to the year’s 7,000 psychological breakout level. It was back to 7,002.42 when it closed for the Christmas Day break. It made a net gain of 301.07 points or 4.5 percent.
We will know this week if this climb of the market since Dec. 15 is of any consequence. But the way things are unfolding as of this writing, it is very likely that the significance of the market’s latest climb may only be answered when we resume trading on Jan. 4 next year.
For now, it’s time to bid goodbye to 2015 and may all of us have a more successful year in 2016!
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