There’s an old joke about the investor who never used any stop losses. His friend knew his big positions were getting crushed.
Out of concern, the friend asked, “How are you sleeping?”
“Like a baby” he answered.
“Really? You aren’t nervous or upset?”
“I sleep like a baby” he repeated.
“That’s amazing. I’d never be able to sleep through the night with those types of losses.”
“Who said anything about sleeping through the night? I said I slept like a baby: I wake up every two hours, wet myself and cry for 30 minutes before falling back to sleep.”
That’s why risk management is so critical: to save you from sleeping like a baby, and in the long run to save you a lot of money.
There’s a reason flight attendants show you where the emergency exits are before takeoff. The same thinking should apply to investors. Prudent investors have a sell strategy in place beforethey get involved with a stock. Using any of these stop strategies helps keep your emotions out of the process when an investing emergency arises.