In terms of investing, I learned a ton in 2014. A year ago I couldn't tell you what the S&P500 was, now I can tell you I'm beating it.
As for the Dog of Dow, you would be just about breaking even if that was your strategy in 2014.
Dogs of the Dow - High dividend paying stocks - Daily YTD Performance Tables
If you were to listen to analysts and charts and historical trends, you would have known this year was not the year for a Santa's rally which typically sees investors put back 1.5% of gains into the market. Typically those rally's do not happen when we experience such great gains the month before that small Santas Rally week between Christmas and New years and this year it was certainly no Santa's Rally. However, that could be a good thing because according to history if you look at what happened in 2000 Santas sleigh went for about a 33month slide or 38% decline.Christmas is over, but Santa rally isnâ€™t | America's Markets
I also learned that market timing is impossible. I bought both a Stock and ETF this year that immediately dropped more than 5%, CASY and VDE. One has since recovered, the other I am using as a lesson, but I am going to bet that eventually oil prices will recover.
Its incredible how many things can affect a companies performance. Remember, at the end of the day you are buying shares of a company you feel has the capability to return earnings on your shares. You are investing in this company knowing there future earning potential is bright.
Buying low is key, I bought AAPL on the dip this year and man am I thankful for that. I will continue to use this strategy for a couple of individual stocks I plan to buy and hold for at least 5years.
Diversification is nice, but too much diversification and too many accounts can make managing your investments tougher. I am in the process of moving most of my invested assets to VG...keeping open any accounts through my other brokerages...Just in case.
Happy New Year.