In investing, I tend to be a pragmatist. People often debate about whether you should be a investor or a trader, and you should be one and not the other.

But personally, my approach is to sometimes invest and sometimes trade. Most of the time I am a investor, but occasionally I will trade. In any case, to me it’s not a case of investing vs trading. It’s more a case of long-term prospects vs short-term opportunity.

Snapping up a bargain

A year ago I bought shares in building services provider Carillion (LSE: CLLN). Now Carillion is a mid-cap company in a business that has suffered during the recession. The share price had fallen to bargain levels. I bought into Carillion at a price of 260p, after the share price had fallen from a high of 390p which it had reached in 2011. At a P/E ratio of 7, the company was very cheap.

The share price had been driven down to these levels because of fears of a prolonged slowdown in infrastructure and building spending. But as the recession has ended we have seen an upturn in building spend. The Carillion share price has been steadily recovering. Earlier this month the share price reached 375p.

So should I sell? Well, I was wavering. What was the valuation of the company now? A 2014 P/E ratio of 11 is still cheap, but I’m just wondering whether there will be much progression in profitability in the next few years.

Made my wife smile

The investor in me is telling me to hold, after all the company is still cheap. But the trader in me is telling me to sell — after all, I would be locking in a nearly 50% profit (if you include dividends) after just a year.

Now you could say that I am missing out on a better return if we look years into the future. But I felt I had enough confidence in my investing skills that the money could be better invested in some of the prospects I’ve been considering buying into.

So I sold. It was a quick win and I had no regrets. And suddenly I have some money to spend on a few luxuries at home — and earn a few brownie points with my better half.

Carillion is still on my watch list. If it falls to near its 2013 lows, I might just jump on the merry-go-round again.

When I think of investing, I’m not thinking of being a value investor, a growth investor, a trader or anything else. I’m thinking about being pragmatic and flexible.

Our guide to high-yield investing

Carillion is a company worthy of inclusion in your high yield portfolio. We at the Fool think that investing in shares which produce a high and rising dividend yield should be a key part of your investing strategy.

And we have written a free guide to explain just why. It explains all about how you can reinvest your dividends to substantially increase your investment returns. If you would like to learn more, then just click on this link to read about "How to create dividends for life".

Champion Shares PRO closes to new members at 11:59pm TONIGHT!

Click here for your last-chance invitation to claim YOUR seat alongside Nathan Parmelee as he aims to deliver yet another stellar performance that could take YOU all the way to financial independence.

Hurry… there are fewer than 113 PRO Premiere seats remaining, and they're being allocated on a first come, first served basis. I urge you to respond immediately to secure YOUR spot, because once they're gone, they're gone. Please CLICK HERE now to join PRO before the doors slam shut

Prabhat does not own shares in Carillion.