It’s OK to Leave Some Money On the Table

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I am not talking about the tips in the restaurants; I am talking about the stocks going up after we sell them, doesn’t that happen all the time? Just like it goes down after we bought it? My most recent example is New Oriental (EDU, it seems to me the traders did not take too much time off for the Lunar New Year). And it happened to my friends in China too. The friend was very upset when he told me the story. It seems to us sometimes “not making all the money” feels worse than “losing money”. For instance, if a stock falls after we bought it and we sold it because it never went back the level is was, i.e., we were “under water” the whole time, we may not feel that bad. But on the other hand, if it went up big and we missed the potential big profit, we will feel mad at us 🙂

So what do we do? We chase them, we bought it back. Then what happens? It drops (did I tell you the stock usually drops after we buy?). Then what…you know the story.

The bottom line for me is, as long as I make money, I will be happy. We need to let somebody else make some money too, right? By the way, it’s important to leave money on the restaurant table too, because if you don’t, next time you will not be welcomed.


  1. I have been reading your stock lessons lately, those are excellent articles! You have some new thought on this one which just let me couldn’t agree you more. But I vaguely remember one lessons is that the company’s fundamental plays very important role, so why bother sell it? If that is the case, you can take more time to study the “three questions” that you mentioned earlier.

    Or, you want to do short term trade to make more money? Haha, greedy person.

  2. Sometimes we do need to sell a stock, in this case (EDU), I think I should not bought it at first place.

    Although I made some money on this one. I haven’t found its growth driver going forward. The overseas testing preparation is their bread and butter. But it can not grow too much consider current China young generation is mostly “only child”: I’m not sure their population compared to student population in 90s; and I don’t think all parents like sending “only child” overseas. I could be wrong.

    As to new growth area: Elite English (business English), Kids English, they face intense competition. It does not take too much money to do that in China.

  3. A little more explaination: “they face intense competition”

    Competition itself does not kill a company. It’s the position of the company in the market that counts. Some company has an edge over others. I don’t see New Oriental has much edge on those new areas.

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