Buy, sell or hold

Published 5:46 am Tuesday, October 21, 2008

By Staff
What should the stock investor do?
With the American, and the world’s, economy in a fix right now, it’s a question that’s on many minds.
Stock markets are riding a roller coaster these days — one day they’re up and one day they’re down.
It’s scary.
Volatility is frightening during a day when it’s just as easy to make a trade on a stock that represents a company in the neighborhood as it is on a stock that represents a company on the other side of the world.
It seems that the markets can’t make up their minds. Stabilization isn’t in their vocabulary right now.
So, who does the stock investor listen to?
Are analysts to be heard or do they just want to chatter and guess in their work?
Are brokers credible? That’s debatable; after all, it’s their jobs that are in the equation.
How about other investors? Do they know what they’re doing, or are they just guessing, and hoping?
That wasn’t much help. That was probably just what many folks are thinking anyway.
Then, one of the richest people on earth, Warren Buffett (or that’s what Forbes magazine thinks because Buffett has a net worth it estimates at $62.3 billion), puts his opinion out there and it seems like it makes all the news and the world stops to listen.
Buffett said it’s the time to buy stock — American stock to be specific.
But, Buffett is a person with seemingly limitless funds. Is his opinion something that the average investor should listen to?
Is Buffett right or is Buffett wrong? Who knows?
Buffett said the current prices of American stocks are too low. He said now is the time to buy because the opportunity is there.
Again, it must be remembered that Buffett is loaded and he has cash like most folks wish was found growing on trees.
So, what should the stock investor do — buy, sell or hold?
Invariably, what it ultimately boils down to is that the answer to this question has to be an individual decision.
Should there be hesitation about stock-trading decisions at this time? Undoubtedly, yes.
Some folks look at Wall Street as main street in their hometown while others look at Wall Street as Las Vegas or Atlantic City.
For a person thinking of short-selling a stock, or otherwise known as betting against the success of a stock, (or, realistically, gambling) this time might be the right time to take that chance for a big gain in just a short amount of time.
However, for a person who has patience and doesn’t worry from day to day about the ups and downs of Wall Street, it might just be the time to sit and wait.
Opinions are out there. It’s a rough time for a stock investor. When times are unstable and a stock investor is trying to make decisions based on others’ opinions, that stock investor must step up to the plate and make decisions that have to be that stock investor’s own decisions.
Whether a decision is to buy, to sell or to hold, the stock investor must realize that the responsibility rests on that stock investor whether a decision works out or not.