Chuck Jaffe: Buy, sell or hold is your No. 1 decision about stocks. This is the move to make now.

by | Apr 3, 2023 | Stock Market

In a stock market that is tough to read like this one, there are plenty of “buy” and “sell” recommendations. But there aren’t many “hold” suggestions. Yet the mixed messages being sent by market forces right now suggest that this is clearly a time when investors should practice their ability to hold.

In market parlance, a hold is better than a sell, but worse than a buy. Applied to a specific security or a market index, it means you’re sticking with it if you already own it, but staying out of it if you don’t. It’s hold what you have, but hold off from buying more of it. Holding sounds about as passive as possible, yet it’s an active decision to make in current conditions. The market flashes hold signals a lot — what Vanguard Group founder John Bogle described as “Don’t just do something, sit there” — but it isn’t the message being pushed on the public because there’s no action in it. Pepper a headline for a story, podcast or YouTube video about “what to do now” with “do nothing,” and you’ll lose your audience. Given the frothy market and the scary financial headlines, investors are looking for buy an …

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