Hold your horses: Despite his entertaining show, I am usually not one for advocating Jim Cramer to fellow investors. But I must pay heed to his firm stance on "Buy and Homework" investing … because when has it ever been reasonable to not do your homework? Especially when it involves money!
Would you treat an investment in Ford
The current Fool.com debate has attempted to answer the question, "Is buy and hold dead?"
I don't believe it is. What is dead is the belief that any capital thrown into the markets will somehow balloon into miraculous gains. It takes a little elbow grease and some inquisitive research to grow that nest egg.
Homework and due diligence allow you to take the bull by the horns and make sound financial decisions. The critical factor is to stick to your guns and sell when your valuations no longer hold water, no matter how long that original "hold" period is.
This seems to be a common theme felt by many Fools within the community:
"A balance of 'Buy and Hold,' some speculation, diversification, due diligence in evaluating companies, periodic re-evaluation of all purchases, and staying current on company and general news gives very good results for any serious long term 'Buy and Hold' investor." -- jc09058
"I don't think a buying or selling decision should be made based upon how long an investment is held. I think they simply should match. If your buying strategy makes heavy use of qualitative analysis, then your selling strategy should match. It takes time for things like good management, a good business plan, etc. to play out. However, I think a selling strategy should be very simply to sell when the reasons why you bought no longer apply. That could be one month, or it could be 30 years. So, I [don't] think buy and hold is necessarily dead. It just depends on the reasons why you buy." -- dchabino1
"[Buy and hold] doesn't preclude you from making moves, it just means you don't actively try to time the market." -- CPACAPitalist
"Buy good simple companies with sustainable competitive advantages and hold on to them for a long time. If the price drops, then buy even more, provided the advantage still exists and the price is reasonable. For example, if you had put $5000 in Johnson & Johnson
(NYSE:JNJ)in 1943 and reinvested all the dividends, you would be sitting on $120,000,000 right now." -- chinaboy99
"I will continue to look for quality and hold. But one key to remember is to still stay on top of what is going on with the stock/company. I will still review what I have to ensure that I should be holding said stock or if I need to unload it for whatever reason. Do not get personally attached and more importantly, do not make rash quick decisions on unloading a stock either." -- rijoker
Now, I'm not taking shots at those who hold for really long periods or relatively short periods. I am criticizing those investors who do not re-evaluate their portfolios periodically. No matter what strategy you employ, know what you're buying, for goodness sakes, and stay up to date.
Fool.com member MFRB101 puts it best:
Buy and hold does not mean sleep while driving. Keep your eyes and ears open. Who did not know GM has been losing market share over the last decade? Most people were talking about the tough time company will have to face and the difficulty it was having to turn profit each year …
Bottom line: It's your money -- know where you are putting it and why you are putting it there.
Cramer is onto something with his notion of "buy and homework." What do you think, Fool? Weigh in with a comment below!
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Stephen Siegert doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. J&J and Coca-Cola are Motley Fool Income Investor recommendations. Coca-Cola is also an Inside Value selection. The Motley Fool has an awesome disclosure policy.