As I said in Part I everyone in the insane asylum looks normal, but at least the doctors are sane. Unfortunately, in the insane asylum known as the stock market all the doctors (brokers) are also insane.
The doctors in the insane asylum went to medical school to learn how to treat the patients so the could get well. On Wall Street you go to the doctor (broker) who is supposed to help you become financially well, maybe wealthy. Almost none of these Wall Street experts ever learned their profession. They have all been taught the three great prescriptions that make no sense at all: Do Your Research, Buy and Hold and Dollar Cost Averaging. This is what the brokerage houses teach.
As I said previously research is worthless, as it will not tell you if a stock is going to go up. Buy and Hold is taught the wrong way. It is OK to Buy and Hold as long as the stock is going up, but not when it goes down. No broker is taught how to protect a customer's money.
When I was a floor trader I learned in a hurry not to hold on to something that was losing money. The very simple prescription for this is called a Stop Loss Order. Brokers hate them and will discourage you from entering them. Why? Because it means he will have to watch your account because if a stop order is not properly and timely executed he must pay it out of his pocket.
Brokerage houses do not teach brokers how to use this simple method to protect capital. The house does not want to become known that it will sell a company's stock when it turns weak. The brokerage company makes more in good will from the poor performing company than they do in commissions from you because if they ever encourage selling it means they will not get a chance to handle an Initial Public Offering (IPO) for that company. Suppose they did have a stop protection policy for customers and they then had an IPO that came out at $30 per share, but instead of going up it went down. The customers would not lose more than $3 or $4 per share because of their protective stops, but the house would then be stuck with all the unsold stock. It is OK for you to have this money-losing dog, but they sure don't want it in their inventory. You can see how logical this is, but you won't hear it from a broker. Stop orders are not insane.
The insane conventional wisdom that both brokers and customers have been taught cannot remain once it is exposed to truth.
You must take the initiative with the stocks you own to protect yourself from loss of capital. If your broker argues with you there is one solution - fire him and find a good broker who will protect your money. Just because he has learned an insane system doesn't mean you have to be nuts too.