Should You Sell Stocks Right Now?

With the extreme volatility the market has been seeing recently, you’re not alone if you’ve seen your basket of stocks fluctuate or plunge on some particularly choppy market days. But does that mean you should sell your stocks? Not so fast. In this segment of Backstage Pass, recorded on Nov. 10, Fool contributors Rachel Warren, Taylor Carmichael, and Connor Allen respond to a member’s question.

10 stocks we like better than Microsoft
When our award-winning analyst team has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*

They just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now… and Microsoft wasn’t one of them! That’s right — they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

See the 10 stocks

*Stock Advisor returns as of November 10, 2021

Rachel Warren: Vihaan says, “My friend works for Fidelity, two months ago, keeping an eye on interest rates, he sold his big position in Microsoft and got into oil stocks. He’s up 30% in two months. I was holding my guns on Motley Fool recommendations. Tech is hammered, 20k down in two days, should I have taken a hint on balancing Motley Fool recommendation, or should I stay put?” Taylor, Connor, thoughts?

Taylor Carmichael: Oil is tough. I’ve owned oil before and it’s always, I mean, you can do OK. But it’s always a short-term thing. It’s a commodity business. It’s almost a guaranteed short-term investment because there’s no, it’s like Exxon versus BP.

It’s all commodity. I don’t care. Whoever’s closest, whoever’s cheapest. You’re making a commodity bet, you’re making a short-term bet. I think that’s kind of dangerous because you’re going to be wrong half the time, at least on your short-term bets and you’re going to have to pay taxes on your profits and if you’re in good tech stocks, you’re going to have bad days like today.

I was bleeding out today. But last year I had an amazing year. I think stay strong, keep where you are. Make a little difference, you might tweak it a little bit, but I’m not buying oil. Frankly, I mean, I guess you are making money in this environment. It’s certainly getting more expensive.

But honestly, I think electric vehicles are going to be the future. You’re kind of playing that game of what’s the game where you’re running around the chairs and you’re trying not to be the last one.

Connor Allen: [laughs] Musical chairs.

Carmichael: Musical chairs. I think you’re playing that with oil. My friend, if you’re buying oil and you’re like, I don’t want to be the last guy in the oil stocks. You don’t want to be the last cowboy holding onto his oil when everybody’s EV’ing it. I don’t know, I wouldn’t switch into oil. I will say Schwab again.

I mean, I did make a change. That was a change I made. People are always bragging about their short-term wins, like, that’s cool, good for you. Awesome.

Give him a hug, give him a high five, that’s great man, you rock. But if you’re in good stocks, keep on keeping on. I mean, we’re here for 10 years, 20 years. We’re not here for next week, next month. That’s the only way I can play it, personally.

Allen: Yeah. I have one more thing to add on that, is, Vihaan, yes, your friend did take out of Microsoft and made 30% in two months and you may have lost some money in your tech stocks.

But I wonder if your friend would’ve invested in, would’ve taken his money out of Microsoft and thrown it into the Shiba coin or just Dogecoin or some crazy crypto and tripled his money, like there will always be somebody who lucks out and makes these short-term trades; and yeah your friend is probably smart and moving to oil. Got it timed right.

Yes, it all worked out OK. But trying to time and trying to trade is not what the Motley Fool’s about. We’re about the long term. This short volatility that we’re having to deal with, am not too concerned about it.

Warren: No, for sure and we appreciate your guys’ questions and I understand on days like today, it can be a little disconcerting when your portfolio is not having the best day. Just like these guys were saying, that’s why it’s so important to stay consistently invested.

Microsoft might have a bumpy few days, weeks, or even months, but you look over the long term. A company, just like that alone has delivered insane returns for investors. You look back over the last five years alone, and Microsoft has delivered a return of more than 460%.

That’s just in five years, just as an example. If you want to be looking at different investments for your portfolio, this may be a great time to also buy some stocks on sale. But sticking with what works for you and your personal investment goals.

Charles Schwab is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Connor Allen owns shares of Microsoft. Rachel Warren has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Taylor Carmichael owns shares of Charles Schwab. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Microsoft. The Motley Fool recommends Charles Schwab. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *