Sold two favorite stocks

i sold two stocks today, realizing i was holding both for emotional reasons.

first, i sold my remaining shares in berkshire hathaway. now, this is probably a signal that you should buy. for me, it has been fun to have warren buffett as my own money manager. however, his shares havent performed well (i was up 11% in 2.5 years) and i’m afraid that it is getting too hard to manage such a massive empire.

second, i sold my remaining shares in etrade. this was my first purchase in late 2002 when i started becoming a believer again in the consumer internet. it has performed amazingly well going from $4 to $17.50 and there’s some old rule about not selling your winners and keeping your losers. however, i bought it because it was severely undervalued relative to its then prospects (was projecting $1.00 per share in eps), whereas today it’s more fully valued.

i love investing, especially in public securities where you get an immediate score card of how you’re doing. my reality is that i will always be a macro investor, meaning i invest in big picture themes rather than based on detailed fundamental analysis. my big macros now are energy (like the rest of the world) and early stage consumer web which still seems to be fairly under invested given the large prospects. i know these seem like two very different areas but i was encouraged to read that the founder and ceo of IDT (who has made a number of brilliant bets) is actually going the same route, though his also includes film and media which i’ve viewed as more of a hobby than real business.

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