Kiplinger

The Practical Investor Packs It In

When I first saw the Disney movie The Little Mermaid, I was captured by a line uttered by the villainous sea witch, who taunted the heroine to give up her prized possession (her voice) in exchange for the legs she yearned for. "Life's full of tough choices, isn't it?" she said.

I recently found myself at just such a crossroads. I love writing . We launched this column in 2011 as an experiment in whether a buy-and-hold investor (me) could meet or beat the performance of the market by buying individual stocks. The answer: no. Since inception, I'm way behind the market, despite performing better in most years. My undoing: 2015, when my portfolio lost 20% and the market held steady.

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