How To Buy And Hold

One of the most believed bits of conventional wisdom from Wall Street is to Buy and Hold. Any stock or mutual fund should be put away for eternity and never sold. This is total hogwash and is guaranteed to reduce your investment income.

Brokerage companies never will advise you to sell. Last year over 1,000 stocks on the Nasdaq lost more than 90% of their value. During that same period of time brokerage companies issued 33,000 (yes, that's right, thousand) recommendations for their clients. Of that 33,000 only 125 were "Sell". What happened to those "expert" analysts who were telling you to buy on the way up? Couldn't any of them figure out to tell you to get out when a stock was headed down at breakneck speed?

When you want to know something I have a favorite method. It is, "Follow the Money". Where does a brokerage company make its greatest return? Not on commissions as you might think. It is selling a new issue of stock or a secondary issue for a company now in business or debentures of some kind. We are talking about big bucks here. Minimum six figures and most times seven figure commissions for the brokerage company. Just one of these more than makes up for the customers piddling commissions.

If the brokerage company analyst tells the truth that he doesn't think a company is a good buy anymore and to sell you can be sure the executives at that company have a long memory should they decide to sell more stock. Issuing a sell signal would be the death knell for the brokerage company ever selling any new issues for that company. And the analyst would probably get fired.

Instead of telling you to Sell they downgrade the company from Buy to Neutral or Accumulate or Underperform the Market or Hold. The latter is the worst rating you will see. Any downgrade is your signal to Sell immediately.

There is a successful way to Buy and Hold, but it will take about 15 minutes of your time each week. You could do it monthly, but you will have better results if you do it weekly. One of my basic criteria for owning any stock or mutual fund is that it must be going up. Not down or sideways. Let's say you have from one or several stocks in your portfolio. On Saturday morning you look at the closing price of the stocks you own. You figure out what 10% of the closing price would be. You might want it to be more or less. For example, if the stock is $40 per share that comes to $4. On Monday morning you call your broker and place an Open Stop Loss order for $36. Never lower the price. If the stock sells down to that level you want to be sold out.

The Hold side of the Buy and Hold formula has been met. You held it while it was going up. You don't want to hold it while it is going down, do you? This is the right way to Buy and Hold, not the way Wall Street tells you. You bought. You held. You got out with a profit (or a very small loss). Congratulations. You have outsmarted Wall Street.

Al Thomas' book, "If It Doesn't Go Up, Don't Buy It!" has helped thousands of people make money and keep their profits with his simple 2-step method. Read the first chapter at http://www.mutualfundmagic.com and discover why he's the man that Wall Street does not want you to know.

Copyright 2005

In The News:

Can These Markets Be Trusted?  The New York Times
And the No. 1 Stock-Fund Manager Is…  The Wall Street Journal

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