16 Nuggets Of Advice On Selling Stocks From Investing Greats


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Jae Jun

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Quick Summary

  • The truth is that selling stocks is hard but people just focus on the buy side.
  • Gaining the discipline to sell objectively takes time.
  • Even the best investors learned it through hard lessons.

Selling stocks is hard.

In a previous article where I wrote about stock selling decisions, I talked about the psychological hindrances investors feel when selling stocks.

The market is still sitting on its highs and selling is either something you think about later or something you try to ignore.

Either way, selling stocks is hard for me personally.

Since I’m not the best person to tell you how and when to sell, here’s a collection of thoughts from some of the best investors on selling stocks.

16 Wise Nuggets on Selling Stocks from the World’s Best Investors

Much success can be attributed to inactivity. Most investors cannot resist the temptation to constantly buy and sell.
– Warren Buffett

Don’t gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don’t go up, don’t buy it.
Will Rogers

Never buy a stock immediately after a substantial rise or sell one immediately after a substantial drop.
Ben Graham

Investors buy securities that appear to offer attractive return for the risk incurred and sell when the return no longer justifies the risk.
Seth Klarman

To buy when others are despondently selling and sell when others are greedily buying requires the greatest fortitude and pays the greatest reward.”
Sir John Templeton

Those who had been riding the upward wave decide now is the time to get out. Those who thought the increase would be forever find their illusion destroyed abruptly, and they, also, respond to the newly revealed reality by selling or trying to sell. And thus the rule, supported by the experience of centuries: the speculative episode always ends not with a whimper but with a bang.
John Kenneth Galbraith

If farming were to be organized like the stock market, a farmer would sell his farm in the morning when it was raining, only to buy it back in the afternoon when the sun came out.
John Maynard Keynes

The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell.
Sir John Templeton

J.P. Morgan once had a friend who was so worried about his stock holdings that he could not sleep at night. The friend asked, ‘What should I do about my stocks?’ Morgan replied, ‘Sell down to your sleeping point’ Every investor must decide the trade-off he or she is willing to make between eating well and sleeping well. High investment rewards can only be achieved at the cost of substantial risk-taking. So what is your sleeping point? Finding the answer to this question is one of the most important investment steps you must take.
Burton Malkiel

Nobody ever sells you a stock with the expectation that its value will increase.
– unknown

I’m only rich because I know when I’m wrong…I basically have survived by recognizing my mistakes.
George Soros

The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell.
John Templeton

There’s nothing wrong with cash. It gives you time to think.
Robert Prechter, Jr.

If it’s close, we don’t play.
Ben Graham

Value investing is risk aversion.
Seth Klarman

In my opinion, there are two key concepts that investors must master: value and cycles. For each asset you’re considering, you must have a strongly held view of its intrinsic value. When its price is below that value, it’s generally a buy. When its price is higher, it’s a sell. In a nutshell, that’s value investing.
Howard Marks

Gurus Always Available When You Need Them

There are many factors that you need to consider when selling stocks.

These 16 quotes sum it up better than I can explain so I hope these quotes from the gurus struck a chord with you. Take their wise words and gain better sense or confidence in selling when the time comes.

Here’s an additional short article with an example of how David Einhorn decides when to sell stocks.

What’s one criteria you use to decide whether to sell or not?

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