Fort Myers Florida Weekly

Great Companies Keep Growing

My Dumbest Investment

Years ago, I did a little investing in stocks. A few, such as Disney, made money. (I got in at $36 and out at $44.) I also bought into Family Dollar. It shot up one day, and as I thought that anything that rises so fast will go down fast too, I planned to sell. But I wasn’t paying close enough attention, and it took a nosedive before I could sell.

I want to buy Disney again, but I feel like it’s too late. Stocks like that are good investments if you got in early, but now — where are they gonna go?

— M. B., Carnesville, Ga. The Fool Responds: Most good stocks are good not just for early investors. IBM stock, for example, has averaged 12 percent annual growth over the past 20 years and 18 percent over the past five. General Electric has averaged 12 percent over the past 30 years. It’s also risky to try to time stocks. If you believe in a company’s long-term potential, consider holding for the long haul, as long as it appears healthy and isn’t grossly overvalued.

Do you have an embarrassing lesson learned the hard way? Boil it down to 100 words ( or less) and send it to The Motley Fool c/ o My Dumbest Investment. Got one that worked? Submit to My Smartest Investment. If we print yours, you’ll win a Fool’s cap!

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