Throughout my years as an investor, I've had several stocks more than double my money. Sometimes, this has happened within just a few short months or within a few years.
While logging into my account and seeing gains topping 100% feels pretty good (and creates a strong temptation to claim my profits), I've decided not to sell any of the investments that have earned such generous returns. Here's why.
I still believe in the investments
The investments I made that resulted in more than a 100% return were in companies that I believe in. I like their business models, I think they have a solid competitive advantage, and I am confident that they will continue to thrive through good and bad economic times.
After my initial investments paid off with great returns, none of these factors changed. The companies continued to stand out among competitors for me. I thought their leadership teams were still solid, and felt confident that they offered benefits and perks their close competitors couldn't easily replicate.
Because of the fact that I still believe my investments are solid ones with room to grow, I see no reason to sell them. I'd only have to search out other companies to buy if I did that, and they might not be businesses I believe in as much.
I don't want to miss out on future potential profits
While I've already made a generous profit on my initial investments, I know that the stocks I own could continue to see their value increase over time. I don't want to sell and lock in the gains I have now (even though they are plentiful) and miss out on potentially making even more money.
For example, one of the stocks that has more than doubled my money is Visa (V 3.00%), which I initially bought right around the time of its initial public offering. If I'd sold when my shares initially doubled, I'd have missed out on substantial further gains: The stock has produced a roughly 1,430% return on investment since that IPO after accounting for share splits and dividends.
I don't need the money from my investments yet
The last big reason I haven't sold any of the investments that have more than doubled my money is that I don't need the cash yet.
When I put my money into the market and bought individual stocks, I invested with cash that I knew I wouldn't need to withdraw for decades. Doing this reduced my risk since I was confident I wouldn't have to pull my money out during a downturn and could wait for the inevitable economy recovery.
Since I won't have to start making withdrawals from my account for another few decades, I can afford to keep my money invested in the assets I believe in, where it can work for me and hopefully continue to grow substantially over time.
The bottom line is, I don't believe in taking my profits just for the sake of it when I still believe in my investments and think that they can grow further. So I'll enjoy watching the value of my shares go up and sit back and wait until something changes with the companies -- or until I need to start relying on my investments to produce income for me.