That said, compared to the XAO, my portfolio has held up fairly well as the XAO is down -23.3% over the same period.
I sometimes get asked and almost chastised as to why I don't short stocks if I think the market is going down. My answer is usually, why should I? As a long term investor my aim is to outperform the market over the full market cycle. Sometimes that may imply long periods of doing absolutely nothing and over the last 12 months that strategy has paid off.
I don't deny that poeple can profitably trade stocks both up and down on a short term basis, good luck to them if they can. However I think there is a mentality, call it a traders mentality, that you need to be constantly doing something. That can be very harmful, particularly if you feel the need to do something when you don't know what you're doing.