Donald Cassidy was senior research analyst for Lipper Inc., a Reuters Co., from 1990 to 2006. He recently founded the Retirement Investing Institute, a nonprofit educational foundation, and is the author of five books on personal investing, including “It’s When You Sell That Counts” (now in its third edition). Contact the author at


Donald Smith from CA posted over 5 years ago:

A very good article.It had the effect of stiffening my resolve to do what must be done in these advverse conditions..Thank you
Donald Smith

G Mueden from RI posted over 2 years ago:

In 2007 I was in my 90's with end of life close ahead. That meant if things went really bad, I would have no time to recover, so I got out except for JNJ and IBM, my dividend payers. The tax bill was immense but I could pay it. (Thank you CSCO.)

The problem then became "Have we reached the Bottom? Is it safe to go back in? How to decide? I kept thinking that it could still go down more.

This article is good for how to get out. What about getting back in? I would also like to know is What was the order of the return, who came first, who went the farthest?

Lonita Whaley from MN posted over 2 years ago:

I appreciate this conversation about selling. I have looked a lot for information about the sell side of investment planning. Thank you for your thoughts on this.

I do go back often to a commentary that Ric Edelman made about how few days there have been when, at various times, the markets begin recovery modes. Those days made huge differences as to whether you were in the market or out of it. Performance on those days made an immense difference in the overall performance of a given portfolio. Getting out at the wrong time seems, obviously, very costly.

I did make the choice to get out of an investment that was stagnating for several years. Unfortunately, it took of fairly shortly after I sold. I don't have too much trouble deciding what to buy, but when to sell (and get it right) seems the harder formula to devise.

Robert Wainer from MA posted over 2 years ago:

I have been to this dance many times since I am 74 years old and still working. My portfolio can support my life style. I have about 5 years of needs in short term instruments but also about 50% in stocks (less now than before the sell off decreased their value). 2008 and 2009 were more of a buying opportunity than can be presented to me now since I was 7 years younger. In early 2009 when casually discussing the market with a slightly younger man who was a CPA at a prominent firm when I made the observation that the market will come back and thrive he observed that I must also believe in the tooth fairy. I doubt that the market will present the same opportunity as 2008-9 but I hope that those people who can benefit from whatever opportunity is presented enjoy the benefits. You can think of me and the tooth fairy

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