Ask Paul B: Getting Even in Stocks!


Dear Paul B,

I know that you have been involved in the financial markets for a long time. My wife and I were stupid enough to buy some stock years ago, and FINALLY, we are now even. We were down over $3,000 and we really needed the money. Now, my husband tells me, its starting to go our way, so why get rid of it. If we suffered for so long, what sense does it make to watch it go down again, and suffer more. We have had many fights about this investment. What would you do?



Dear Alice,

Stocks are not for everyone, first off. Did you think that you would buy a stock and it would go up in a week, a month, a year? Stocks do not care when you buy them, and certainly when you sell them. You should invest only for the long haul (that’s 5 years on average.) If you cannot spare the money for that long, then don’t get involved. I do not know the nameof this particular investment, but if your stock/investment is profitable, and its future seems positive (now that it has regained its footing,) then perhaps you should “stay the course” and see what happens. So many “investors” suffer for years only to sell their investment to break even. Is this your intention, to break even? The market cares not about you or the price you paid. You need a financial adviser or your accountant may be able to help you. I have a decent “feel” for investments, and would offer my advice. Send me your information
and I’ll check it out. You both need to agree on your investment decisions. If you are younger, you should have some exposure to stocks, which can create a significant return.

PS—Please don’t quarrel over this or any investment. If you are not suited for the “risk factor” that is inherent in individual stocks, then you should seek out treasury bonds, certificates of deposit or municipal bonds, in short, fixed income (minimal risk.) BTW- minimal risk= minimal return.


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