New Stock, same theme - Citi

So once again I have another story of a stock that looked like a good choice, but I didn't show the smarts to get out when I should.  You'd think I'd learn more, wouldn't you?  Well, that's what this blog is all about - writing down my reasons for stuff so I can catch my patterns or maybe anyone that's reading can let me know when I'm repeating myself.  This time it's Citigroup (C).  Bought some back in the days when the government was starting to sell the shares they owned as part of the bank saving measures of 2008.  Clearly the company was doing decently.  Restructured itself, was making money, collecting more reserves and preparing to start paying a dividend (in 2012).  All positive notes, but then we had the reverse stock split, the government going after banks for lending practices, mortgage refinances, push for more government regulations, and yes, finally Europe.  Now obviously, when you get a rough market like we've had since October, a lot of stuff goes down and not a lot goes up, but this is a bit ridiculous and I'm certain any pro or experienced home-gamer will tell me I'm doing things all wrong.  On a plus note, I never filled my position.  But that doesn't justify the fact that I could've sold at a profit, but didn't accept that things were changing.  When I finally started accepting that things have changed some, I justified it by saying "This is just a rough patch.  It won't be long now and it'll turn back around." and instead of breaking even and holding my cash, I've now taken a ride on the falling knife.  Yep, I finally accept what is really going on in the bank sector and I want out.  I don't see this going up until Europe is solved - but that's what makes this so tough at this point.  One day the EU will be saved, then next it's the end of the world.  If you ever need a reason to stay away from a stock, that's it.  I'm patient when it comes to this - thinking things will work out after awhile.  I'll go so far to say it's actually a fault as I've numerously told you how I didn't sell a profit only to watch it slip.  You just can't stomach moves like this if you're not jumping in and out with them.  You wonder if you should've sold, then you wonder if you should've bought and suddenly it's like a bad amusement park ride - you don't know which direction is which and everywhere you look is pointing in another direction you're no longer sure of.  At this point, all I can do is hold.  If it reaches a significant down point with positive info on the horizon, I'll buy more.  If the price reaches a certain point with no relief in sight, it gets jettisoned.  I can always come back at some other time when everything is figured out overseas.  Until then, this stock just isn't safe and I will have to generally ignore it outside of those price points.

Moral of the story:  When the facts change, you need to quickly recognize it so you can change as well.  It's better to be wrong and lose out on more profit than to think you're right only to watch that profit disappear.