Steve Matt's avatar
$19.7m follower assets
Carnage Thursday
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!
Jazzi Young's avatar
Peaked at 130 positions 😮. Hoarder alert 🤣
Steve Matt's avatar
@jazziyoung Haha most of them are small that I just wanted to have a toe in the water for. Alas, it was time to concentrate my capital a bit more than it had been lol
Joshua Simka's avatar
Have you opened an account for your daughter yet? Looking forward to your upcoming Q1 update!
Steve Matt's avatar
@tomato Yeah, it's been open since I got her SSN a few weeks after she was born haha no update on that account in my Q1 update though since it's all in $VTI. I can't wait until I can buy her a share of $NTDOY and explain to her how Breath of the Wild 2 is made by Nintendo and now she owns a tiny slice of the company that makes that game haha
Joshua Simka's avatar
@interrobangbros It's a fantastic way to pass on a love for investing and the stock market! Wishing you and your growing family all the best
Conor Mac's avatar
Appreciate this update, life has a way of doing this! Huge congrats to you and your wife too.

Bet you can’t wait to get the baby a brokerage :)
Steve Matt's avatar
@investmenttalk Thanks! She has a custodial brokerage now but it's all $VTI. I can't wait until she's a tiny bit older and starts understanding so I can get her hooked on investing haha
Rihard Jarc's avatar
Wow 130 companies in portfolio, really hard to manage. Curious on why not chose some ETFs that probably cover a lot of those stocks in your portfolio?
Steve Matt's avatar
@rihardjarc It's a fair question. The short answer is that I didn't want exposure to certain industries nor did I want exposure to companies I wasn't interested. I simply wanted exposure to particular companies. What I would do is build my own basket of stocks, like pets for example. I opened small positions in $BARK, $IDXX, $TRUP, and $CHWY. Over time, IDXX, TRUP, and CHWY became bigger holdings by way of me adding to them while BARK languished as a stock I wasn't comfortable adding to. Could I have bought $PAWZ? Sure, but I didn't want exposure to $FRPT or Nestle or $CL or $WOOF or $GIS, etc. etc. Besides, stock picking has done fine for me over the 14ish years I've been doing it. I'm still handily beating $SPY and $QQQ is pretty close. And without my daughter, I was able to manage a larger portfolio easily. I love reading earnings releases and the key parts of 10-Q/Ks and perusing transcripts. I just need to reign it in a bit now with her around. As much as I love the things I just mentioned, I love hanging out with her more.
Rihard Jarc's avatar
@interrobangbros got it. totally understand it if it's a passion of yours reading the earnings reports and everything. Family always first life goes fast :)
Capisce Capital's avatar
I have actively had to fight myself on not having too many positions, I'm glad it happens to other people too! My strategies have changed since having my son for the same reasons, I want to make sure I spend as much time with him as possible
Benjamin Tan's avatar
Congrats on the baby - I can relate as I am gearing up for surrogacy right now! Simplifying your portfolio seems like a logical step to make with additional personal responsibilities. I expect to do the same or streamline other aspects of portfolio management when due date draws nearer!
Steve Matt's avatar
@consumeowntech Congrats to you as well!
Porchester 🔺's avatar
Congratulations on the baby!
Steve Matt's avatar
@porchester thanks!
Nathan Worden's avatar
I love the phrase "I need to scale back for whatever hellchild I have sired"

I am CRACKING UP right now 😄
Nathan Worden's avatar
Great to hear how positively impactful having a kid has been. And eye-opening for me (as someone who might have kids soon) for how much it can impact investing style.



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