The Big Win You Missed

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by Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA

My friend Jan Schalkwijk, CFA of JPS Global Investments just asked me if I had any thoughts on Kontrol Energy (KNR.CN, KNRLF), a Canadian smart building firm I had never heard of. (I just added it to‘s Energy Efficiency and Smart Grid stock lists.)

Kontrol BioCloud Sensor. (CNW Group/Kontrol Energy Corp.)

The stock had just shot up after the client sold and went on a kayaking trip.  It had disclosed a sensor for detecting COVID-19 from the air.

While I didn’t have anything to say about the company, I did have some thoughts on dealing with the emotions around missing out.  Since it’s general advice, I thought readers here might appreciate it as well:

Speaking of gains that she might have had, she should ask herself if she missed out on a lottery ticket or if she made a mistake.  Every week, there is a lottery ticket that wins millions of dollars, but the wise investor does not play the lottery.  If the situation with Kontrol was one that she would never have anticipated, then it was simply a lottery ticket that she did not win… a lucky break for someone else, but not something to take personally.

If, on the other hand, it was something she could have anticipated if she had decided not to go kayaking, she should ask herself about her life choices.  Does she want to be a person who never takes a vacation and constantly watches the stock market in the hopes of someday getting a big win, or does she want to be a person who sometimes takes a break to maintain her mental health and relationships by reconnecting in the real world.  If the latter, then missing out on the occasional big win is part of the price…. but it also means missing out on the occasional big loss.  In this case it was a big win that didn’t happen… but there might also have been a bunch of big losses on all the other stocks she might have been obsessing about.

This sort of thing is all about life choices, and accepting the consequences.  Sometimes you go kayaking and the stock you sold goes to the moon.  Other times you go kayaking and the stock you sold goes bankrupt.  If you did not see it coming before you left, you should not take credit for the stock that goes to the moon, or take the blame for the stock that goes to zero.

The big difference is that you are less likely to remember the stock that went to zero after you sold.

Disclosure: No positions.


  1. Thank you for the advice Tom, it is a great reminder that you can only act based off the circumstances/knowledge you have at the time of the decision.

  2. A simple but very relevant message for these times especially. Managing finances is a significant stress point for many folks. I end up spending much more time in front of a screen than I care to, which is a source of stress in its self. My preference is to move towards investing in specialized funds rather than individual stocks as a way of minimizing my time spent. On that note, is the fund you manage accessible to a private investor or not? Appreciate your article.

    • Thanks for the interest, Sam, but no, it’s not currently available, although I co-manage a somewhat similar strategy with Jan Schalkwijk (mentioned in the article) that he offers to the public. This strategy is stocks only… no options… and it does not do market timing like I do in GGEIP. Follow the article link to contact Jan. I’m also working with a firm Investment Research Partners to offer my strategy as a hedge fund. This could happen as soon as the 4th quarter of this year, but it will only be open to accredited investors.

  3. I realize that this has nothing to do with alt-energy, and you will probably assume I am some idiot stock pumper, but there is a company called GameStop (GME) that looks like it is on the verge of going parabolic. New X-BOX and PlayStation consoles are launching, many people are stuck at home with nothing better to do than play games and the stock has over 100% short interest. It is trading around $9.2/sh +/- and could easily double or even triple in the next 3-6 months (as it has the last two times new gaming consoles were launched). Then there is a small chance the stock could rip a lot higher in a short squeeze.
    Sorry to bother you, it was your post’s title that even made me think of commenting.


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