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Buy and Hold Is Dead. Long Live Buy and Hold!

By Motley Fool Staff - Updated Apr 6, 2017 at 1:53AM

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The rise of equity ownership in the United States, fed by the Internet, low-cost discount brokerages, and self-directed retirement vehicles like 401(k)s and IRAs, has brought along with it heightened expectations.

When SPDRs (NYSE:SPY) investors, hoping only to track the movement of the S&P 500 stock index, are losing money, as they have over the trailing 10 years (a far cry from earning the ballyhooed 10% average annual return), the wisdom is rightfully challenged.

Blue Chip

10-Year Return

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)


General Electric (NYSE:GE)


Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO)


Disney (NYSE:DIS)


Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW)


Data from Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.

As the table above demonstrates, even stalwarts have taken a bath over the past decade.

Granted, June 1999 was a frothy time for the market, but critics of the long-term buy and hold philosophy can point to three-month returns that blister 10-year returns:

Blue Chip

3-Month Return



General Electric






Dow Chemical


Data from Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.

Many people are pointing to the recent volatility in the market and dismal 10-year returns and arguing that investing paradigms have shifted.   

For the next few weeks, investment experts and Fool advisors, analysts, and editors will be weighing in with their thoughts on the future of "buy and hold." But we also really want to hear from you. Answer the poll below, and let us know the reasons for your answer in the comments section at the bottom of this article!

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Stocks Mentioned

The Walt Disney Company Stock Quote
The Walt Disney Company
$105.83 (3.33%) $3.41
Microsoft Corporation Stock Quote
Microsoft Corporation
$260.65 (3.20%) $8.09
The Coca-Cola Company Stock Quote
The Coca-Cola Company
$62.86 (3.08%) $1.88
General Electric Company Stock Quote
General Electric Company
$75.46 (0.28%) $0.21
DuPont de Nemours, Inc. Stock Quote
DuPont de Nemours, Inc.
SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust Stock Quote
SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust
$396.92 (1.87%) $7.29

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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