I was reading the message boards about a small stock that some friends and I have been playing for some time now. The stock is Delcath (DCTH) and they have just presented the results of some trials at the ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) conference this past weekend. The results were interpreted by most as excellent but yet the stock fell sharply this Monday morning. One friend in particular may have done more research than most as he recently lost his father to liver cancer. The message boards are now lighting up with the usual suspects bashing the stock for the shorts and pumping the stock for the longs. The real issue among this that most do not know whether they are traders or investors.

Many of us have been long this stock somewhere between 3 and 6 dollars a share and when it reached double digits have been selling into rallies and buying back on the pull backs. Others have held and will hold for the duration and not watch the market on a daily basis, while yet others will be happy with their current gains and exit completely as will those who entered positions late in this stocks rise and do not wish any further risk.

The point I am making is that you can’t call a stock a piece of garbage in which you rode it for 8-10 points, you can call yourself greedy however if you try to squeeze every penny out of a stock and it doesn’t go your way, (insert old adage about bulls, bear and pigs here). Decide first whether you are an investor or a trader and make your decisions taking into consideration your philosophy and material information.

Too many times we see arguments started on the message boards by those who not only have opposing positions but who have different philosophies as well. One man’s pain is another’s buying opportunity. In the case of Delcath, it is true much of the recent rise was due to information that was leaking out over time on their phase III trials and anticipation of their presentations at various conferences. The drop may just be some profit taking which can present a buying opportunity for those wishing to accumulate more stock for the long haul. It could have also been an opportunity for short term traders to short the stock for smaller quick gains.

Keep your eye on the ball and decide what philosophy works best for your financial situation and mentality and then adjust to suit changes in the markets. Stocks are neither pieces of garbage or winners, the players who monitor and trade or invest in such issues can be.

Noah Hochman

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Noah Hochman

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