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Author: R4noff One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 37  
Subject: Re: MSFT Date: 7/22/1999 11:55 AM
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Arlene,

You knew I would have something to say. It's not for nothing that I have a foam cooler that says, "Everyone is entitled to my own opinion." A couple of comments on your last post:

<< I bought MSFT and HWP on Monday speculatively and had planned to sell them pretty quickly. >>

Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard are both great companies, but not ones that lend themselves to speculation. Why did you buy them if you planned to sell them quickly? Investing with hopes of a short-term gain is a crap shoot. Despite intriguing tales of folks making fast fortunes day-trading, as an investor you should only be investing money that you will not need for at least a couple of years. Sometimes conditions will change with the stock you buy and you will decide to sell, but it is generally better to buy companies you expect to own for some time.

<< Well, you know what happened. My cash is tied up in them, and I don't have much left to take advantage of the downturn in the Market. >>

This advice may be too late for you, but when the market is as richly valued (some say overvalued) as it is now, when you find yourself with a sum to invest it is not a bad idea to invest your money gradually over several months. That is called dollar-cost-averaging and means that you will buy more shares with the same dollars when the market goes down, as it has this week.


<< Do you have any feeling for when they will be back up to $100 and $117 respectively? >>

It is human nature to want to not lose money, and to hold a stock until the price rises to a point at which you break even. The biggest mistake most investors make is to hold on to their mistakes, and sell their winners. In fact, you should do just the opposite, as rising stocks are more likely to rise, just as falling stocks are more likely to fall. It is difficult (speaking from experience here) but important to forget what you paid for your stock! Always remember, the stock market does not care.

Here's the simple plan - easy to say, hard to do. Look at each of your holdings and ask yourself if owning the stock is the best place for your money. If not, whether you have a better stock prospect or just would rather have the cash, then sell the stock and reallocate the money (I am ignoring possible tax consequences here.) Divorce yourself from the emotionalism of losing or gaining money, which is only possible if you look at your holdings objectively. I hope to be able to do that myself, someday.

Good luck,

Rick
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