Putting my stocks on a diet

If you manage your own portfolio and didn’t listen to all the doomsayers last year who predicted a correction—or worse a recession— was just around the corner, then you probably racked up some significant gains.  I’m about to give you some completely unprofessional financial advice so you are on your own if you decide to try this at home!

While everyone I know is on some kind of January diet –vegan, paleo, dry, juicing– the weight I decided to lose in the new year is of the financial kind. I want to work off some of the profit poundage my portfolio put on in 2019 and convert it into curvaceous currency.  So, I’m putting my financial fat cats on a 5 shares diet…starting today.

After 2019’s big stock market run up, I decided the party will surely be over sooner or later and maybe I should pull some cash out. I want to be sure I have something for a rainy day or a future buying opportunity.  Skimming the cream off the top of my portfolio and putting some money aside is my 2020 financial diet plan.

First, let me be absolutely clear that I absolutely hate selling stocks! I hate selling when my stocks are down because no doubt they will rise the minute after I sell. I also hate selling my stocks when they are up because I don’t want to give up on further wins. So, what’s a girl to do?

Instead, I decided to sell 5 shares of each of my best stocks whether I own 10 shares of a stock or 100.  Sure they may go up more in 2020. But what if they don’t?  A 5 share haircut is pretty painless. It’s like telling your hairdresser to just cut a half inch. Not enough to change your ‘do but enough to get rid of the split ends!  Think of these five shares as split ends that you snip and save.

This morning, I went into the IRA accounts and scanned for the plumpest, A-team stocks. Stocks I’ve had for a long time that have had  a good run. Stocks that rocketed in the last year. And stocks that  felt like they have been hovering near a top (FAANGS– I’m looking at you!).  I relentlessly sold 5 shares of each. It was hard to let go but it ended up feeling great. I felt like Marie Kondo giving up things to spark joy.

At the end of this selling session, I felt empowered. Now we have a little cash on the side. My portfolio feels newly trim and tidy. Best of all, I didn’t give up any stocks I love…there’s just a little less to love.  And a little more money in the bank!

I used to blog about finance at Stockpicknmama if you want to check out my earlier advice. It served me well.


  1. […] In the last week, I also decided that this incredible, high flying stock market is ready for a pause. I don’t know when that will be but just to be safe, I started taking a little haircut off of some of my best stocks (selling 1-5 shares of each) to lock in profits.  AND to have some cash on hand for emergencies or the chance “to go shopping” again when stocks eventually pull back. I  wrote about my stock “diet” strategy recently here. […]


  2. This reminds me of advice we got in our stock club a few years back. Their advice was to sell off one third. Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We started doing something similar…although not exactly the same…the year we turned 65. We turn 70 this year and are still happy with the plan. Less risk, more cash. It’s a good strategy as we age.

    Liked by 1 person

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