NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Traders often say "you're only as good as your last trade," but don't believe it. It's a lie. You won't get any arguments from me that your last trade may emotionally bring euphoria or disappointment. The truth is, it's your overall average return from your first investment until today that determines the amount you deposit in the bank.
We can take it one step further and say it's a mistake to allow a trade or investment to affect you emotionally. OK, yes, I know that's easier said than done, but every wise speculator knows that emotion is kryptonite to a portfolio. The easiest way I know to reduce or eliminate emotion and worry is to reduce the position size.
Occasionally I'm reminded that sometimes it's not your last trade (or, in the case of financial articles, your last idea), that determines how proficient you are; it's your worst trade or idea. My latest Herbalife (HLF - Get Report) article drew fire because apparently it wasn't bullish enough for at least one reader. Here's my reply:
"DrunkStepmother" makes a point that I became a Tesla (TSLA) bear under $100 while shares continued higher and peaked at $194. On one level, her thinking isn't all that uncommon. People buy at the top and sell at the bottom all the time. You don't want to be a Drunk Stepmother, and I'll explain why.