Solar Stocks (FSLR, SPWR...) anyone?

Has anyone here invested in solar stocks. I have been sitting on huge losses in FSLR and SPWR but holding on hoping they’ll eventually recover. Had SCTY in red but sold it too soon after merger with TSLA and now regretting not holding long enough.

With today’s 5%+ appreciation, do you guys think solar stocks are on the way to recovery? Or is this a flash in the pan based on some stupid comments about ‘the wall’ by you-know-who.

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Same here.

I thought all that production from China eroded any and all profit margins from the solar game, no?

Yes, but solar industry is cyclical and nascent. While I am no expert, reading all the reports while sitting on huge losses leads me to believe that solar industry will go thru many ups/downs in stock market performance before it reaches any resemblance of settling down. That means stellar years like 2015 and crashes like 2016. This is mainly due to high velocity of disruption in both tech as well as business model coupled with mushrooming of new players in times of boom and consolidation when going bust. SunEdison was one of the most prominent busts last year!

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I am assuming you hold the same conviction that these 2 are quality players who’ll eventually recover and hence it’s better to hold long term than get spooked and harvest losses now.

I honestly don’t know enough about the different players. However, I’d much rather invest in a company that installs and maintains the equipment vs. manufactures it. Manufacturing is a race to the bottom on cost. China will win. Installation and maintenance are local.

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SPWR best efficiency, FSLR lowest cost, look like a good pair. Harvesting loss can be done anytime, no urgency.
No idea whether they would recover. Probably like PC industry, eventually all the players lost. Hopefully, before that, either one or both behaves like Dell, HP and Compaq. :grin:

Solar has been living with government subsidy for many years. The mfr source was mainly China and US it is just install and maintenance, banks lending finance. Once 30% Subsidy is removed, they were going bankrupt level.

Sensing danger of SCTY, Musk has merged to mask SCTY loss within TSLA. Otherwise, Musk may get a bad name or blamed for the failure of SCTY.

On any case, I do not have any hope of Solar recovery in next few years based on two facts. 1.No more subsidy 2.Boarder or Import tax or imports discouragement.

BTW: I do not hold any solar stocks except TSLA for last few years.

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My suggestion would be to sell the 2 losers and recover by investing elsewhere. Or, you can hold on to them. Both methods are better than sell and take loss.

I’m in similar situation with jcp and twtr. Jcp down 80% and twtr down 60%. However, I’m still holding on to them.

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Another example: I was down more than 50% with Sina. I sold and reinvested with Baba. Now I’m fully recovered, and then some!

However, had I not sold and held on to it it would’ve worked out the same as Sina also recovered eventually.

So, if you sold, you have to reinvest. Otherwise your loss is real.

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if I sell, I’ll definitely reinvest. I only started in the stock market last year and am still leaning by making all these stupid mistakes :wink:

The one lesson that I learned so far is that newbie investing approach is to book small profits and lock large losses in the hopes of eventual recovery. And a successful investing approach will be to book small losses and lock large profits! I have experienced the first approach in the past year and hoping to being disciplined enough to get on with the second approach!


Best approach is to lock everything profit or loss, big or small!!! because, if you didn’t have the foresight to tell that a company is going down, you certainly don’t have the foresight to tell that it’s going to recover soon…

When I first started trading options, I’d have the occasional trade that was just horrible, because I’d hold until expiration. I actually made a profit on over half my trades, but the occasional disaster led to a monthly loss. Once I got disciplined on stopping losses (if stocked closed on the opposite side of 10-day), I started to be profitable. I do cutoff some trades too early that would become profitable (recently did it with WDC), but I also don’t have trades that kill me.

If you’re timeline is 10+ years, then it’s a lot easier to be right. Inflation and economic growth will make most stocks increase in value over that time horizon. I think returns need to be compared to benchmarks though. Yes, a stock might be higher in 10-years thus a win, but if it’s up 15% and the market doubles then it’s really a loss vs the opportunity that was there to do nothing but buy the index.

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I think underperforming the index is still better than not doing anything. Because the intention was to outperform. So it’s a gain no matter what. And you won’t always underperform. If you try enough times I’d say your odds are at least 50/50…

This is the lesson I took from my first year of stock market foray. Need to put it in practice since it takes a certain amount of discipline.

This is very common mistake by newbies. I had $3000 budget for 5 years and I lost consistently for many years, finally fed up and left the Market for many years.

Then, how did I get back now making consistent gains? ==> I started reading investment books, like given below.

42Rules for Sensible Investing
Accounting for Value by Penman

And many more books and Magazines like Schwab, Kiplinger …etc

Nowadays, I do not trust any analysts news/upgrade/downgrade. I trust my own research and judgement and stick to it no matter whether I make profit or loss.


I realized this myself in last one year. All those research available for free on eTrade, Fidelity etc is worth exactly what you pay for it. :smiley:

Do you use stop loss strategy to protect downside? I ask since you seem to be more of a long term value investor. From what little I could glean from their posts, hanera and marcus335 must be using stop losses.

Obviously @hanera didn’t use stop loss where it counted the most. Otherwise he would not have been able to hold on to AAPL since 1997.

He might very well be using stop loss with his “play money”, where they are like pocket change for fun getting a kick out of gambling in the stock market using options, futures, and such.


I trust fundamentals of a company, make it watch list, then buy.

One of the important aspect: Never buy a stock unless I do research at least 2 days.

Regarding stop loss, I monitor immediately after initial buy may be until around 10% up, then leave it without monitoring. Thereafter, I do not monitor closely. The stop loss (max 10% loss) will happen during this time.

Second, I buy with half of the money I plan to buy, then buy more (if need be)

Once a stock reaches 20% up, there after I hold them as much as possible until I find another attractive stock.

I have few such set of rules (not written rules) follow regularly.

Important one: Whenever I cut short or over rule my standard practice, I have seen failure or loss. Still I am unable to control my self, make mistake and correct it.


I am really amazed such a strong mindset to hold !