Ever jumped out of an airplane? It’s OK if
you have on a parachute. Pretty dumb if you don’t.
Every buy any stocks, mutual funds or Exchange
Traded Funds? It’s OK if you know how much you
are willing to risk. Pretty dumb if you don’t.
Parachute investing is buying an equity
with a parachute so you won’t risk all your money
or, better yet, give back the profit you have made
as the stock or fund went up and then goes down.
If you bought that hummer at $12 per share and
during the past couple of years seen it go up to
$52 you don’t want to give back that nice
profit, do you? With a parachute you can save
most of it. How?
When you invest in any stock of fund you
must know how much you will risk before you buy it
and how much of the profit you are willing to
give back when it turns down. Take that beauty
at $12. Instead of going up it went down. Are
you willing to agonize as it drops to $5? If you
had a parachute you would have jumped out of the
plane before it crashed. If you had an exit
strategy for your stock you would have sold it
before you lost a big chunk of your cash.
The secret of a safe investment is an exit
strategy. When you bought Mr. Twelve Dollars you
shook hands and told him I’d like to be your
friend, but if you change your name to Ten
Dollars I am leaving. Maybe that that is not
very nice, but nice doesn’t cut it in the
Mr. Twelve Dollars said I am going up and
I want you for my friend. Please follow me and if
I falter you can leave and we will part friends.
Now that makes sense. You trail along and after
it goes to $52 it does falter. Do you know where
you are going to leave or are you going to ride
it go back down to $12? In other words do you
have your parachute on?
That parachute is your continuing exit strategy
that is in place every day. In the investment
community it is called an open trailing stop
loss order. Any broker can put this in place for
you. You might be lucky enough to have a broker
who knows where to place stops, but
unfortunately there are not many of them.
The brokerage industry does not teach its
employees (brokers) how to protect customers’
money. If that is the case you might want to use
the old standard 10% rule. Have the broker place
an open stop every Friday at 10% of the closing
price of that day as it closes higher. Never
lower the stop loss. Brokers hate this as it
makes them work, but that is what they are there
for and that is how they earn their commissions.
With your parachute you can always protect
your original cash purchase from a big loss and as
your stock advances you can lock in profit as
the stock advances.
Every investment should have a parachute.