I Blinked

by JDH on April 30, 2011

Yes, it’s true, I “blinked” this week. No, I don’t mean I blinked while watching the Royal Wedding; I got lucky on that one. On Thursday a windy rain storm blew through my corner of Southern Ontario, and knocked our power out for part of the day. When the power came back on there was surge through our house, which managed to fry three of our satellite television receivers (we don’t get cable where we are). No satellite receivers = no television = no Royal Wedding. Oh well, no great loss, I suspect.

(Fortunately we have fancy surge protectors on all of our important electronic components, so there was no serious damage. Apparently the cheap power surge bars on our satellite receivers are ineffective, so our job for this weekend it to upgrade everything).

When I say I “blinked” this week, I mean I got nervous on Tuesday during the big drop in precious metals share prices, and I started selling. It appears I may have been a day or three early.

As I described last week in Gold, Cash, and The Plan From Here, my plan was to prepare for the typical Sell in May and Go Away season by significantly increasing my cash position. I had placed all of my sell orders, at various prices above market. “Reverse stink bids” if you will. Some of those orders were filled, which was great.

But, on Tuesday, as the precious metal share prices dropped, I got nervous. Obviously the charts of gold and silver are looking quite oversold, and most of us are expecting a correction. I assumed that the correction started on Tuesday, and I worried that if the near term top was behind us, selling was the way to go.

I’m not crazy; I didn’t sell everything. But I did sell at prices lower than what I wanted (although everything I sold I sold at a profit). Had I waited until the bounce back on Wednesday or Thursday I would have more coin in my jeans today.

However, what’s done is done. I’m not going to cry over spilled milk. The plan is to continue the orderly liquidation over the coming week or two. I have slightly lowered some of my sell prices, so I assume that on strong days more sales will occur.

As of today I’m at 43% cash, my highest cash holdings in many months. I plan to get up to 75% or 80% cash during May and June, on the assumption that a correction will lead to great buying opportunities in August and September. I will hold a core position, just in case the market keeps rising.

I realize that it’s impossible to pick the tops and bottoms, but I’ll feel safer being in cash after the big run up, and I’ll be positioned for weakness.

Steady as she goes; I’ll report back again next week.