March 5, 2014

To Sell or Not To Sell

About 4 or 5 years ago, I started investing a small amount of money monthly through sharebuilder.  I haven't added anything to it in over a year.  All of the stocks and ETFs I invested in are at a loss except for the S&P 500.  This just keeps going up, up, up!

My plan has been to hold these stocks and ETFs until they go positive and then to sell them.  The S&P 500 is the only one to go positive.

Now I'm debating if I should sell.  I don't really know how it works, but if I sold right now I would see a $375 gain.  I'm sure that amount gets taxed.

Is it better to hold onto it for "some day" down the road or just sell it when I know I can make something off of it?


  1. Oh my. This is WAY over my head. If your going to sell it, and make 375 prior to taxes, I would hold on to it. I only could understand the third little segment. The rest makes my head hurt. LOL

  2. If you don't need that money right now, I would wait. But that's just my opinion :)

  3. Buy stocks and bonds for the "long haul". Jumping in and out of the market quickly just defeats the purpose of holding them. 5 years is a very short time in the stock market.
    I'd say leave them be if you don't need the money for bills and can leave them in an average of 20 years.
    Stock gains left in more than a year are taxed at a lower capital gains rate, and that rate is dependent on your tax bracket.
    If you sell stocks at a loss, you are only allowed to deduct $3K of loss per year. Any losses over that you must carry over into subsequent tax years. You can claim that $3K loss against a gain to zero out(or lower)your capital gain however.

    Be careful about when you sell. Just because a stock goes up on Day 1, and you decide to sell it, doesn't mean you'll get the price it was valued at on Day 1. What your stock, that which you are selling, is worth is the opening price on the morning following the end of the day price on the Day you tell them to sell it. Values can go down between when you give your broker the signal to sell and when the transaction goes through.

    1. Thanks for all the info. I guess I'll let it continue to sit.

  4. Ditto the first two, and thanks Sluggy for the info! I myself have no real experience with such things. Outside of my retirement accounts, I haven't dabbled on investing to know any better.

  5. You should sell. On Sharebuilder, when you sell, I'll s immediate for stocks so you would get the price right then. Are you waiting for it to go down? You will never realize a gain unless you sell when its up.