Here are the ASX shares I was buying and selling in March

Was I buying or selling shares in March? Or both?

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Key points

  • March has been a rough month for ASX shares
  • Many investors were selling this month, but also buying
  • So let's discuss the changes I made to my investment portfolio across the month just gone

With one month done and another on its way, we have a chance to reflect on the month that was and discuss which ASX shares were worth buying or selling. So today, let's talk about the buys and sells I made over the month of March. 

March was a rough month for ASX shares and the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO), no way around it. Despite the convincing rally we've seen on the ASX share market over the past week, the ASX 200 still finished March lower than where it started. Investors have endured a 1.1% loss for the month just gone.

It could have been far worse. By 20 March, the ASX 200 had lost over 5% during the month to date, showing us just how nice the last week's share market performance has been.

But let's get into it.

So I added to two of my ASX share positions in March. Both were exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that I use in my portfolio for diversification, balance, and insurance against my ability to beat the market over the long term with my other individual share picks.

My March ASX buys

The first was the Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF (ASX: VAS). Like many investors, this index fund is one of my favourite ASX ETFs. It is unique in its method of tracking the S&P/ASX 300 Index (ASX: XKO) rather than the more popular ASX 200 that other ETFs tend to go for. I like the increased diversification of the ASX 300, and its ability to rely less on the big banks and miners for its makeup.

I feel comfortable buying this ETF for its underlying exposure to the 300 largest companies on the ASX. That includes everything from Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) and Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) to JB Hi-Fi Ltd (ASX: JBH) and Ampol Ltd (ASX: ALD).

This ETF also tends to pay out quite large quarterly dividends too, which I certainly appreciate. Alongside the broader markets, this ETF took a big dip in March, and I couldn't resist this opportunity to pick up extra units for a cheap price.

My second investment was in a similar ETF in the Vanguard MSCI Australian Small Companies ETF (ASX: VSO). This is another ASX-based index fund, but one that focuses on the smaller companies on the ASX. Instead of CBA or Coles, you'll find names like Ltd (ASX: CAR), Cleanaway Waste Management Ltd (ASX: CWY) and Lynas Rare Earths Ltd (ASX: LYC) dominating this fund.

I use this ETF to augment the Vanguard Australian Index, and I like the increased exposure to the smaller end of the market, which I think has more growth potential over the long term. This fund also took a hit over the past month, and I again used this opportunity to buy up some more units for my portfolio.

Which ASX shares did I sell in March?

So that was the buying I did in March. But what about my sells?

Well, I'll keep it simple: there were none. I try and avoid selling my shares when markets are falling. If I liked a share in my portfolio when it was priced higher, why would I want to lock in a lower price just because others are panicking over a Silicon Valley bank?

So I made no ASX share sales in March and was instead happy to buy shares off of other investors who were.

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has positions in Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF and Vanguard Msci Australian Small Companies Index ETF. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Coles Group. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended and Jb Hi-Fi. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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