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Good post. I closely agree with you.

I do wonder about point 2 though --- "...I tend to think of the stocks I hold as either excellent, very good, or average. "

I'm wondering if you could expound on that? How is it that you don't view any stocks you own as below average? And I am wondering if you are talking solely MDP or if you are talking about a broader portfolio of personal selections?

Regarding MDP choices, I think at the time of selection we think of our choices as Garrison Keillor might -- they all have that aura enough to warrant "above average" from the MDP majority. But things change. Over time it's clear that we end up with MDP losers. I don't think we should hold losers indefinitely --- I defer most decisions to the advisers and maintain a full portfolio, but I think we really do hold stocks that have gone sour too long. We're all reluctant to convert paper loss to real loss.

Although HI was among stocks I believed were most likely sell candidates, it was not at the top of my list. I too take in to consideration if a stock has a decent dividend, whether it is tainted in fact of misdeeds, misjudgment, or things outside its control or even simply by strong negative sentiment. I try to validate my own opinions by one or more trusted third party opinions where possible.
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