Not sure if any of my thirty readers have ever watched Good Eats, a cooking show hosted by Alton Brown. Very entertaining stuff. He spends a fair amount of time talking about the science behind cooking. One line he uses regularly is "step away from the batter", when stirring batter to make pancakes or waffles. It turns out that scientifically you can stir too much, and that makes the pancakes tougher (in a bad way).
I think you can apply that logic to investing as well. "Step Away From The Batter". It is so tempting to always be stirring the investment stew, trying to make it better, feeling like you are doing something. But my experience has been than more often than not, the moves I make don't work out so well. My better trades are those I make and then step away from the batter.
So this week I have been unwinding, with the intent that 2015 "will be different". I will not be a mad trader next year, that just hasn't worked very well. I will not be overweight in speculative names.
My portfolio will consist of 8 MFI tranches, each with five stocks. I will also keep most of my dividend plays, but the focus will move away from individual stocks to closed end funds and perhaps mutual funds or ETFs. And when I buy a dividend security, it has to be held for at least a year. Then on the discretionary side, really just the HIG and BAC warrants.
NO IPOs, no leveraged ETFs, no options, no speculative buys on m&a. Just stick with my approach that works and step away from the batter.