Our Investing Resolutions for 2017

By Motley Fool Staff Markets Fool.com

In this clip from Industry Focus podcast, two Motley Fool analysts share their financial New Year's resolutions for 2017.

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Listen in to find out one possible and practical way to combat emotional stock buying, how to quantify the value of the time you put into researching the companies you buy, and when it might be time to make a hard decision on a small position.

A full transcript follows the video.

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This podcast was recorded on Jan. 13, 2017.

Michael Douglass: For me, I drew mine pretty broadly as, essentially, take the time to grow my stock portfolio. By that, what I mean is, historically speaking, one of my problems as an investor has been irrational exuberance, being too excited about a stock and then not doing enough research to make sure it's really the right one, and I really understand the risks. So a year, year and a half ago, I created this process that's really slowed me down, and that's awesome. The only problem is, that process takes six to eight hours per stock to properly vet. It's a lot of time.

So, my resolution on this is to take the time to vet at least one new stock a month, those six to eight hours, and then another approximately seven hours, so let's say 15 hours a month total, to review my portfolio holdings in general. Now, that seven hours per month to review will probably be stacked pretty closely to when quarterly earnings come out, because that's when really big new information comes out. So, I expect it will be really heavy in one month and lighter in the other two. But, it's really important to me to do this right and do this well. I believe that by doing this, I will be able to increase, I hope, my portfolio returns by 1% a year. In doing so, that would mean that over the next 20 years, that'd be worth around $160,000, which is an ROI of $44 per hour spent over the next 20 years.

Dylan Lewis: Nothing to sneeze at.

Douglass: No.

Lewis: And it's nice to see that framework at play. One of mine gets at something very similar. One of my resolutions is to make a tough decision on a small position that I own. Similar to how you maybe have lost tabs on some stocks, and one of your resolutions is making sure you know what's going on with companies. I own Whole Foods(NASDAQ: WFM). It was one of the first stocks that I bought, and because it was one of the first stocks that I bought, the position that I bought was pretty small. As I learned more about the market, as I started covering tech a little bit more, my interests shifted over. The dividend payers that I went after generally had higher yields than Whole Foods, and the growth stories I was interested in tended to have higher ceilings than what I saw with Whole Foods. As a result, I never really grew that Whole Foods position. Truth be told, I bought it several years ago, I've fallen out of touch with what's going on with them as a business. That's kind of a problem, because I don't know whether I should hold them, buy more, or sell. So, what I've defaulted to is holding and not doing anything with it. The reality is, you look at what's been going on with them as a business, the market is down on them, I'm down on my cost basis, and were I to want to buy right now, it would be a pretty opportune time. And I simply have fallen out of touch with what's going on with the business.

Douglass: Totally. And actually, I'm in a very similar position with Whole Foods. They are one that -- you and I should set up a meeting and just sit and hold each other and ourselves accountable to talking about Whole Foods maybe a couple weeks from now.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Dylan Lewis owns shares of Whole Foods Market. Michael Douglass owns shares of Whole Foods Market. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Whole Foods Market. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.