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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

Content is the opinion of the author and does not represent the position of any other person or entity. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

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Personal investment policy

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: I inherited some money in January and bought stocks. They have dropped in value so I want to sell. Do you think the market will do better soon or should I get out now?

A: It depends entirely on circumstances not mentioned in your questions but perhaps you were not completely convinced about the merits of the investments in the first place. It also sounds as if you have not formulated a Personal Investment Policy. Aside from this, certainly your timing could have been better. OnlineAdviser clients were primarily selling off stocks in pieces early this year and are just beginning to accumulate larger positions now. This will likely continue over the summer as long as the market remains weak. (By "weak" I generally mean a DJIA less than about 11,000 although I personally hope to be a buyer at level lower prices this summer). The best advice is to develop a sound investment strategy that will succeed in your time frame regardless of whether the market goes up or down this summer. OnlineAdviser can help you develop a "Personal Investment Policy" and commit it to writing in the same manner as used by the most successful of investors. This process should require only one or two paid hours of service.


More resources:

OnlineAdviser service