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Subject:  Re: Why I'm Still Holding Onto Yahoo! Date:  11/16/2001  12:54 AM
Author:  OldIronsides Number:  13781 of 15602


I hate to sell at the bottom, too. But like you, I have done so many times. In the vast majority of those cases, the "bottom," in fact, turned out not to be the bottom--the stocks fell even further, sometimes by an enormous amount. (Yes, I've made many mistakes--I'm learning as I go!) So far, I only would have made my money back plus interest on one of the stocks I sold if I'd held onto it through its post-purchase plunge. (I continue to track stocks I've owned even after I sell them, to try to learn from my mistakes.) As a rule, I've sold more losers than winners, trying to follow Peter Lynch's advice to cull your weeds while leaving your flowers alone. (Lynch says most investors sell their winners after a short run, while holding on to their losers in the hope that they'll return to at least breakeven. He calls this tendency a mistake--"Picking your flowers and watering your weeds.")

Even so, I learned early on that I couldn't simply sell because a company ran into serious problems post-purchase and its stock plunged as a result. In each case I had to make a considered judgment as to whether I thought the company was such that it possessed the potential to work through its problems and still achieve meaningful share price appreciation thereafter--even if this took some months or years to accomplish. (For me, "meaningful price appreciation" means eventual compounded annual growth in share price equal to or in excess of what I could have