Today was a day that's been on the horizon for two years, almost to the day. My wife and I found out she was pregnant right around now in 2021 and I pretty quickly realized several of my hobbies, including my expansive portfolio of stock investments, would need to be scaled back for whatever hellchild I had sired. I only hoped that hellchild would be awesome.
And awesome she is! She has slept the night since she was 7 weeks old, rarely is upset, easily soothable, already able to occupy herself with her toys, loves watching the Knicks with me, and has all around made my life exponentially better. She is genuinely great. And I love playing with her and doing time-consuming activities with her...
Which has made my expansive portfolio too expansive now. At peak, I had over 130 public company investments across my portfolios (taxable, retirement, and 401k). I had already begun paring it down during 2022, closing 30 positions while only starting 18 new ones. However, even though I hate hate HATE selling, it wasn't enough.
I found myself recently stressed out over the amount of companies I wanted to (had to?) read the earnings releases on, update my spreadsheet, etc. I genuinely enjoy doing those things, and still do, but I didn't have enough time to do them while also handling my normal household tasks and hanging out with my daughter. Add on top of that that I have a semi-recent history of anxiety attacks and managing my stress levels is vital. Watch out for and care for your mental health, friends!
Which brings us to today, a day where I sold off 15% of my positions so far. Carnage Thursday. I'll list out which positions were cut when l do my Q1 update post later this month, but this is the culmination of a few weeks of pouring over earnings, re-evaluating my theses, digging in to see how companies I own are performing on a financial and KPI basis, and seeing which ones I wanted to continue to be a shareholder in and which I was ready and eager to let go out. I didn't cut any positions that I had put a large cost basis into and nothing that I still had high conviction on, which made the time I had spent on them all the more silly.
Yes, I do actually hate selling, but I also struggle to let a position linger, even if it is so far down that it makes no difference on my bottom line. I find myself feeling the need to keep up to date on the company. Sometimes I can put off that feeling for a few months or even years, but eventually I find myself deep diving back in. Cutting those positions is my only way of breaking free. So here I am, down under 100 positions overall (I also removed 8 of the 22 stocks I had on my Buy? watchlist). My goal is to cut 5 more before I start any new positions (and there is one I want to start). Now I have some unexpected capital to re-allocate to my high conviction holdings while also having extra time to watch my daughter grow. Win-win in my book!