How Long Should You Hold A Stock? – When To Sell For Success

Investing is a very serious endeavor that requires circumspection from an investor. Many people have investments, but what sets legendary investors apart are the skills they have acquired over time. One of the skills is the uncanny ability to know when to invest. Having a legitimate interest in any particular company or stock is very important because it makes it easy for the investor to measure content performance. Another crucial skill is the ability to know how long to hold stock. The question of how long should you hold a stock becomes very important, especially if the share price is climbing or dwindling. In either of these positions, you are either making profit or losing money. It is in those two scenarios that people often sell prematurely,

Fundamentally, how long you choose to hold your stock depends on the investment style you subscribe to. If you are looking to make profits over a relatively short period, then you would be incentivized to sell after a short period. However, if you subscribe to a buy-and-hold strategy, then you would most likely want to have the stock for a long time while waiting to see when selling will be of the best benefit to you. For example, Warren Buffet is one of the most well-known buy-and-hold strategists. He has amassed quite the function from knowing when to hold and when to sell. The Warren Buffett strategy may not work well for everyone because no one quite does it like the Oracle of Omaha.

There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to buying or selling shares. The stock market is volatile and can grow or shrink of its volition, independently of what the investor does and even contrary to market data.  However, it is always helpful to have principles that inform any action you get to take. Thus, in this article, we look at some of the factors you should consider when you are looking for how long you should hold a stock. Ready? Let’s get started!

Looking at the Stock Chart

How Long Should You Hold a Stock: Factors to Consider

Apart from your personal investment philosophy, here are some of the factors to consider when choosing how long to hold stocks for the best rewards.

Stock Price

Money is often the ultimate decider whether you sell your stocks or hold on for longer. Stock prices respond to activities in the stock market. Thus, it is unsurprising if a stock price drops one week and picks up the next. So, how do you know whether to hold or sell if the prices of stocks rise and fall unpredictably? The key is guessing when the stock’s price has reached its zenith. This is tricky because selling prematurely could cost you money. In any case, go with your gut feeling.

Stock Price

Buy-back Programs

Good companies buy back their stocks when they discover that they are undervalued. Hence, when you notice that the company you invested in is buying back its stocks, you may want to hold, instead of selling. When you hold a stock in this sort of scenario, you are betting that the share price will eventually increase, granting you higher returns when the holding period elapses.

It is equally important here to confirm the particular reason the company is buying back its stock. It may well be that they are trying to reduce the number of shares in circulation in order to improve the standing of the company. This is a strategy a lot of investors in the stock market employ. It might even be a ruse to deceive investors into thinking the shares are worth more than they really do.  Holding stocks in such a situation might actually do nothing for your portfolio. In fact, it could even cost you some dollars while you are at it. This is where market research comes in useful. Apply market research knowledge here to know what path to tow.

Improved Sales

This is one of the technical indicators that inform you of how long to hold a stock. If the company you invested in is experiencing increasing sales, that is a good sign. It might invariably lead to higher share prices. However, you need to confirm that the increased sales and profit is not just one-off, but is sustained over time. Companies with good stocks are supposed to have sustained growth and sales over a long time.

Finally, you may want to compare the sales records from the previous quarter and even from the year before. If the sales show a steady upward climb, then your investments are safe and you may have no reason to sell. However, if there is a disparity, you may want to sell the stock, because holding on to the stock could be putting yourself at a risk.

Introduction of New Products

It is good advice to invest and hold on to the stocks of companies with new products. New products inject new life into the company, introduce a new client demographic and improve products’ visibility for the prior existing offerings of the company.

More importantly, new products can also improve the prices of the stocks. If you sold in the midst of that, you would be getting the best from the stock markets in the short term. However, if you decided to hold on for longer, you may be compounding the interest and value of the stocks in the long run.

Improving Margins

A company’s margins are often an indication of its health. Thus, it could inform how long you should hold a stock. If there is a huge gap between the sales and the cost in favor of sales, then you are on a good footing. However, if both cost and sales are going on, then something is awry. It could be that the company is losing money. An increase in the price of products also arises when companies are expanding.

How Long Should You Hold a Stock: Frequently Asked Questions

Magnifying Frequently Asked Questions

Should You Hold a Losing Stock Forever?

You may think that once a stock’s price starts dropping, the next option would be to sell. However, it does not always work that way. Definitely, if the price of a chosen stock keeps dropping, it gives cause for concern. If you do not act with haste, you may eventually get to sell for a lower price than is obtainable at the moment. However, before you get to whether you are selling or not, you need to examine whether the dip is temporary. Thus, you need to consider the potentials of the stock and the company you invested in. For that, you need to access information peculiar to that company and the stock in question. That will present you with a true picture of the state of things. Do not forget that no seasoned investor makes decisions based on their emotions. So, if the losing stock doesn’t have the potential to regain its position, you should sell immediately, regardless of how dear it is to you.

How long does it take to make money from stocks?

Investing is a lot like running a business. You go into it with the intention of making profits. Hence, when the expectation is not forthcoming, it is okay to feel skittish. However, before you start feeling that way, how long, typically, should you wait to expect profit from your investments? Barring any unforeseen risk, the value of any stock begins to appreciate after a year or so. The first spike is usually the highest. Eventually, this evens out over the years, getting steady.

However, this suggests that it might be impossible to get quick riches by investing in stocks. Legendary investors learned to hold their investments and wait for the profits to trickle in. It is the accumulated returns that translate to huge gains after several years. This is crucial for anyone looking to invest in stocks.

What is the minimum time to hold stock?

This is also another important question, especially crucial for new investors looking to make profits as soon as possible. The minimum time investors hold stocks depends on the kind of trader they are. For example, a day trader holds their stocks for just a few minutes in some cases and then sells immediately after. However, as an investor, the rule of thumb to work with is to hold the stocks for as long as is necessary for the profits to start rolling in. Thus, as discussed above, you can choose to still stay in the market even when the stock is sliding downwards. There is, however, nothing wrong with selling if you discover that you are exceeding your risk threshold. Some investors have sold their stocks just a few minutes after purchasing them. Rest assured, yours will not be a unique case.

When Should You Sell a Stock?

This is the crux of the entire discussion here. Basically, reading through this article will inform you of when you can dispose of your investments. However, to summarize, you can sell your stock when you believe it has reached the peak of the profits you can expect from it. Alternatively, you can also sell if the stock’s value starts depreciating, and you do not expect things to pick up any time in the future. Some of the indicators of the factors to consider include if the companies are introducing new products, drop in sales, etc.

There may be other factors external to the stock market which could influence your decision to hold or sell. For example, if you need money urgently, you may want to give up on holding and sell. Furthermore, you may even have found some new investment opportunities and want to sell to utilize these opportunities. However, as anyone on Wall Street will tell you, making impromptu sales on a whim most likely will hurt more than it helps you. Thus, always hold on to your stocks for as long as is possible.

Ultimately, when it comes to selling the stock or not, the decision is yours.

Conclusion: Holding Stocks

Knowing how long to hold a stock is one of the most important skills that investors and potential investors can cultivate. You must realize that investing requires patience. You must be willing to give your stocks the room to grow and increase their value organically. Longer-term investments have the most potentials to double or even triple your net worth. So, consider this while doing your original research into the company you want to invest in.

Finally, despite all of your plans, the stocks you invest in could depreciate, costing you money in the long run. This is the volatility the stock market is famous for. However, when the losses occur, you can get off your back and get right back into investing, choosing a better company and a different investing strategy.

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Kevin Martin

Kevin is an ambitious entrepreneur that is obsessed with all things related to finance. From a young age, Kevin has always been involved with side hustles ranging from online selling to freelance work. Over the years, Kevin graduated from side hustles and started launching multiple online and offline businesses. Kevin is a serial entrepreneur who loves starting new businesses and exploring all things related to business and finance. He is constantly looking for new ways to save money, invest money, and create income streams.