When to sell and when to hold

Investment Guide: When to Sell and When to Hold – Unboxing Startups

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Nowadays, everyone wants to invest in the share market, but it is not easy as it looks. You need to consider a few things before buying and selling shares, and not to forget, Holding shares are equally important. We will cover most of the items in today’s article, so kindly read them till the end.

Also Read: Rakesh Jhunjhunwala: The Incorrigible India Optimist

If you’re an investor or have some budget, the first thing you need to consider is whether you are looking to invest for the short or the long term. Next, the article will tell you when and why investors might sell a stock.

Understanding When to Sell or Hold your Investment

When to sell and when to hold can be a challenging decision, and you might start calculating your profit. But in the share market, one strategy doesn’t fit all overall it’s all about an individual decision and strategy based on many factors, including risk tolerance, time horizon, and financial goals.

If you’re a newbie in this market, hiring a financial professional who can help and strategize your investment plan is better.

Below are some of the reasons investors might sell a stock.

1. A Matter of Time

An investor must regulate their time horizon before purchasing stocks. If an investor is supposed to invest for a long time, they can likely ride out market corrections or downturns. However, if the investor has planned to invest for the short term, such as less than one or two years, investors will likely have a different strategy for holding or selling their investment.

Age, target, and investment amount play a crucial part because every person has different needs and expectations from the market. For example, if an investor is 30 years old, he plans to hold for the long term, and if an investor is close to retirement, they might choose the short-term horizon.

2. Risk Tolerance

Risk tolerance can not be eliminated, it could be minimized with wise decisions. However, every investment comes with a risk. Therefore, some investors will relinquish a significant rate of return to achieve lower risk. For example, U.S. Treasuries are considered risk-free assets if they’re held until their maturity or expiration date. In return, investors are paid a rate of interest.

An investor with a higher risk tolerance would likely to investing money in the stock market, such as an index fund that tracks the S&P 500. Understanding risk tolerance, investors can develop a strategy for what types of stocks to buy, how much money to invest in that stocks, and when to buy, sell, and hold their investments.

After earning profit and if you’re an entrepreneur, this could be the best option to make investments for your startup.

3. Buy and Hold Stocks

If investors are holding an investment for the short-term, for instance, less than a year, they might sell the stock as soon as they want to earn money quickly. However, a long-term strategy is called a buy-and-hold strategy, a passive investment strategy in which an investor buys stocks and holds them for a long period/duration.

Buy and hold investors are less concerned with short-term fluctuations in the stock market. It means they are mentally prepared that if the market fluctuates, they are less worried than the short-term investors. Long-term investors generally bet on Blu-Chip stocks and reputed names. In contrast, short-term investors focus more on Penny stocks and less on Blue Chips stocks.

However, even buy-and-hold investors might need to sell a stock at some point for a profit or loss, and they feel like increasing their total investment amount. As a result, investors should be aware of their purchase price and any change in the company’s fundamentals.

Reasons to Sell a Stock

Below are some important factors to consider when selling stock from your portfolio.

1. Adjusting a Portfolio

A common reason to sell stocks is to adjust or balance a portfolio. Unfortunately, there could be many reasons that a portfolio might become unbalanced for your investing goals. For instance, this could be due to a life event, such as a marriage, divorce, retirement, or merely an accidental concentration of capital in one sector.

Putting all of your stocks in one sector could be a disaster; therefore, it is always recommended to invest in all sectors or we can say a balanced portfolio so if the market fluctuates, the other growing sector can safeguard your investment.

2. Freeing Up Capital

Sometimes investors also sell investments to free up their money. The money is an emergency need to make a down payment on a house, pay for medical expenses, or take a vacation.

3. Stock Price Target

Many investors use price targets to determine when to sell a stock. Investors that use the strategy typically predict a price range for when to sell the stock at the time of purchase. Investors start selling the position once it reaches the defined price target as a stock price rises. Investors can either sell it all at the price target or ease out of the position at various price targets over time.

4. Change in Company’s Fundamentals

Sometimes investors may need to sell a stock when the company’s fundamentals change for the worse. For example, investors may begin unwinding their position if a company’s quarterly earnings have been steadily decreasing or performing poorly compared to its industry peers.

While owning a stock that you plan to hold for many years, it’s important to monitor the company’s fundamentals by analyzing its financial statements and keeping tabs on its sales, revenue, and management performance. If it turns out that the company isn’t performing as planned, you might want to consider selling the stock before the financial situation gets worse. In addition, you should educate yourself on how the company run, earns profits, and market reputation.

5. A Market Selloff

Some investors can’t hold onto a stock forever and ride out market corrections and large selloffs. If an investor needs the money in a few years and a recession occurs, it might be another few years before the investment recovers to pre-recession levels.

As a result, buy and hold portfolios can lose some or all of their profits. A few bad stocks might be enough to drag the portfolio into a negative return. Merely holding a well-run company doesn’t guarantee the stock price will rise indefinitely.

6. Deciding Which Shares to Sell

Before selling, it’s important to consider which stock will be sold first. If you think the share price is around the target or have already crossed your target price, you can sell those shares first. It is always essential to sell shares on time because you can be in trouble once the market falls.


Selling an investment is like buying one—you have to make sure it aligns with your investing and financial goals. Also, it’s essential to understand your risk tolerance and time duration. It is always recommended to consult a financial adviser to help you develop a short and long-term financial plan.


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