Learn to recognize the moment for unloading a winning stock

The Ticker

January 17, 2001|By JULIUS WESTHEIMER

When should you sell a stock?

"Picking winners on Wall Street is only half of stock market success," says Black Enterprise, February. "You must know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em. It's a matter of timing." The article gives reasons for selling:

"Cash concerns: major outlays, like paying tuition bills, buying a home, car, etc.

"Loss of enthusiasm. Even the most exciting stocks lose luster over time. If you find better opportunities, move on.

"Fear of heights. `Let your winners run' is another stock market maxim, but at some point you may feel that the race is about over.

"Other reasons to sell: Taking tax losses, especially to offset gains. ... Your stock hits the target you've set for it. ... You have doubled your money and want to take some profits off the table."

TAX TIP: "If you fear a further market decline, now is a good time to give stocks away. Instead of selling before stocks fall farther, give them to children or grandchildren and let them sell. The capital gains rate will drop from your bracket to their lower rate." (Tax Hotline)

WALL STREET WATCH: "The Fed rate cut solidifies the `positives' for the market and we can probably expect another cut at its January 30 meeting." (Technical Disciplines)

"For now, hold onto good stocks and garner significant profits over the next few months. Sit back, relax, buy on further price weakness and enjoy the advance to come." (Winnell Report)

"It's disturbing that so many forecasters are bullish. A sustained rally cannot occur until a majority of these pundits have thrown in the towel and turned bearish." (Yankee Prognostics)

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