Many of us like to compare our performance to the rest of the crowd, or at least to some benchmark like the Dow or the S&P. It gives us a rough idea of how we are doing in the intensely competitive quest for Alpha.
Depending on the outcome of this comparison, you will either feel validated or deflated. Where some get into trouble is when they take this to an extreme, and start to deviate from their investment plan.
It usually happens after they have fallen behind their benchmark, and a little voice tells them that they must do something to catch up. Catching up usually means taking bigger risks. This sometimes works, but usually it just makes matters worse.
Another way that obsessing over your results can hurt is by taking your focus away from the only benchmark that matters - your own goals and objectives. Are you ahead of schedule, or have you fallen behind? If you have fallen behind, ask yourself what's causing it. Is it a bad patch in the market? Hanging on to a losing position and hoping to get back to even?
These are good questions to ask, and they will help you make adjustments to your strategy if necessary. Swinging for the fences, or doubling down on a loser are not the answer. Making a few carefully considered adjustments to your plan is a much better way to go.
With that in mind, here some of the top picks for 2018 from some heavy-hitters. You will also see how these folks fared with their 2017 picks.