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Friday, 30 April 2004
"A Reader Writes" How about your stock-selling strategy?

Hello Friends! Thanks again for stopping by....remember to do your own work on the stocks discussed and to always use your own investment advisor as I am an amateur investor who likes to write about stocks!

Jason M. wrote a follow-up question:

oh yeah i also wanted to go over your stock selling
strategy again.

so i may or may not understand it. you sell when you
lose 8% in a stock. you sell 20% of you holdings in a
cokpnay that has gained 20%. you sell another 20% of
your holdings when it has gained 40% and so on and so
forth up to 100%. is that correct?

J.


Jason, first of all thanks so much for your interest in my strategy. As you invest in stocks, I am sure you will develop some sort of strategy borrowing from here and there on the way. Much of my sell strategy is based on William O'Neill's "How to Make Money in Stocks" and the CANSLIM approach. That is, I like to sell for "negative" reasons in two situations, 1) when the stock is hitting an 8% loss or worse, regardless of when I purchased the stock, and 2), after making a profit in a stock, that is, having sold a portion of the stock at least one time, I will try to sell a stock BEFORE it goes back into the loss column.

When do I sell at a profit? In general, my approach is to sell the losers QUICKLY (at 8%) and sell the winners slowly, and partially. That is, when a stock has appreciated about 30-33%, so that it is about at 4/3 of its original value, I try to sell about 1/4 of the stock, thus leaving the orginal purchase value. Do you follow?

I try to repeat this selling at about a 60%, 90%, and 120% gain. After 4 such sales, and yes I have had some stocks where I have had this many sales, I am now trying to slow down my selling pace so that the actual $'s invested will grow. Thus, after 120% sell point, my next sell point is at 180% (and I sell a 1/4 of the remaining shares), 240%, 300%....etc.

Does this work? It has been working well for me. But it does require discipline because sometimes, quite frankly, I kind of fall in love with a stock...now don't go telling my wife or anything...but I HATE to sell a stock but I DO anyway. For instance my recent sale of Merit Medical....why I really LIKE that stock....but the price declined and out it went!

I hope that answers your question. If you have any questions, or if anyone else has questions, PLEASE feel free to email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com and I will try to get right back to you!

Bob


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