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Author: Robear1020 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 3843  
Subject: Holding long but not long enough... Date: 5/29/2014 2:24 PM
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My dumbest investment? Hmm, it’s hard to pick so I will admit to my top two (or three) and you can decide.

The first was a young company called Intuitive Surgical. One of Motley Fool’s many writers wrote a great article about Intuitive Surgical and it left me with such an impression that I purchased 3000 shares at about $17 each… For the next two years I watched the price fluctuate between $17 and less (down to around $15 if I recall right). I eventually got so tired of watching that deadbeat that the first time I got a little pop (to around $18) I sold the entire position… You can do the math, I definitely left a lot on the table. BTW, less than a year later David Gardner was recommending ISRG to his subscribers at about 2.5x my sale price. Unfortunately I found it difficult to buy back something I just sold so I never added ISRG back to my portfolio… DOH!!!

The second investment was related to a product that my wife once bought me for Christmas. She bought me this cool little toy called an iPod… The iPod made such an impression on me, (after years of using cassette tapes any MP3 player could make an impression), such an impression that I bought 3000 shares (at about $18 each)… After watching those bounce between $18 and $20 for a while I got bored of watching and sold at around $21… One stock split later (and a second coming next month) you can see that I made another big mistake… DOH!!!

FYI, I also once owned three thousand shares of Starbucks but also sold those a long time ago… DOH!!! It’s had two stock splits since then.

During the last five years I’ve heard a few of the talking heads on CNBC say that buy and hold is dead… LOL, the above examples clearly prove that they are wrong.

Moral of this story, keep notes for anything you buy, don’t give up on the long term simply because the short term isn’t looking great and trust your initial instincts. The interesting thing about each of those companies is I found them thanks to personal experience or via a recommendation that was freely given by one of the Motley Fool’s many contributors… Each of those stocks eventually joined one or more of the Motley Fool newsletters but not until they were showing significantly better earnings (and carrying a slightly higher premium).

Take care,

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