How Long Should You Hold A Stock? – Explained

Stock market investments offer the most potential for development. It is, nevertheless, the most hardest to handle. For many people, stock investing is a full-time profession that involves meticulous preparation and study. Furthermore, it entails a greater risk, and even a single misstep may be expensive.

As a result, purchasing a stock is a difficult task. Determining how long you should keep a stock is similarly difficult. Nonetheless, these variables are critical in deciding the amount of success you may expect from your investment. But when is the best time to keep a stock? Is there a formula that applies to all of your stock investments? Let’s have a look.

Also Read :- Is It Okay To Invest Everything In Equities?

What does holding a stock mean?

Simply put, holding a stock implies keeping it in your portfolio. In other words, the time between purchasing and selling a stock. This time range may vary depending on the stock. In an ideal world, you’d keep the stock until you’ve made the most money. If a stock is losing value and there isn’t a correction in sight, you should be able to sell it for a profit.

Why are long term investments good?

Long-term investments are ones that you keep for at least a year. They have a historical edge, and long-term investments are backed by great investors like Warren Buffett. Let’s look at some of the main reasons why long-term investments are so popular.

1. Historical advantage

As previously stated, historical benefits support long-term investment. Consider the Sensex index. In April 2020, when the epidemic had barely begun to reveal its real colours, it had reached its lowest point since 2017. By April 4th, 2020, someone who had invested in the Sensex on January 1st, 2020 would have lost nearly 33% of their money.

If the investor had selected long term and opted to continue invested for two years, even after the epidemic, their money would have grown by almost 40%. This isn’t a one-off occurrence. Over time, the stock market has tended to grow. This pattern can be seen in the majority of equities. Stock prices tend to correct tiny falls in the long run as long as the firm is functioning well.

However, this does not have to be the case for all stocks. Some of the stocks have declined in value over time, however this is mostly owing to the company’s poor performance.

2. The power of compounding

Compounding is the most significant benefit of a long-term investment. Compounding occurs when an investment’s returns are paid back to the investment, and the compounded amount receives returns. This is also true when it comes to stock market investing. The price increases are reflected in the stock price rather than being paid to the investor. The stock will benefit on that compounded amount from there.

To further comprehend this, consider the following scenario.

Assume you paid Rs.100 for a stock. For the sake of simplicity, pretend that the stock rose 10% every day for two days in a row.

This suggests that the stock price would be Rs.110 after the first day, a profit of Rs.10.

The shares will begin trading at Rs.110 on the second day, not Rs.100. With a 10% rise, the stock price would be Rs.121 at the end of the day, resulting in a profit of Rs.11.

Compounding boosted the amount of profit even if the stock price only climbed by 10% on both days. However, this is only for a day. The compounding impact might considerably boost your profits if you stay invested for a longer period of time.

3. Non-emotional trading

The stock market may be a volatile environment. Trading includes real money, and you may make a fortune or lose it all in a matter of seconds. Fear, and hence emotions, have thus become a defining feature in stock market investing. However, if you have decided to invest for the long term, you may overlook the little falls. Of course, you should keep check of your portfolio’s performance on a frequent basis, but you shouldn’t get involved on a daily basis. This can help you avoid letting your emotions influence your financial decisions, providing you a significant advantage.

4. Learning curve

Long-term investments are frequently accompanied by a time of learning. When you watch your investments go through various economic scenarios, for example, you learn and comprehend how stock markets function. This can greatly assist you in making future investing selections. Furthermore, the various economic periods might expose your investing horizon. You’ll know exactly how much risk you can take and what you want out of your investment.

When to sell a stock?

The answer varies depending on your investing objectives. If you’re in it for the long haul, the best moment to sell is when you believe the stock has hit its top or when you see a superior investing opportunity. However, if you make a mistake and buy in the wrong company, the best option is to sell before the investment loses a considerable amount of money. However, this may get complicated. Minor losses might be misinterpreted as a downturn, causing you to sell and lose money unnecessarily. As a result, a thorough examination is required before selling.

Should you hold a loss-making stock?

There are several scenarios in which a stock could be losing money. It could, for example, be a temporary loss streak caused by economic conditions or company-related events. The best course of action in this situation is to wait for the stock prices to correct themselves. It could be regrettable if you make an emotional decision to leave it. However, if a company’s stock price has been falling for a long time with no sign of recovery, you may have no choice but to bite the bullet and exit the investment. However, there is no way to know what the scenario is when a stock is losing value. However, proper analysis and trading experience may be beneficial.

What is the ideal holding period?

The ideal holding period for stocks is always a matter of opinion. Furthermore, even what is deemed ideal is subjective. As a result, the best way to approach stock market investments is to stick to your investment objectives. For example, if your goal is to reap long-term benefits from a company’s growth, it is preferable to stay invested for a longer period of time. The best returns come from stocks that have been held for more than ten years.

Simultaneously, if your goal is short-term, your holding period can be as well. Short-term goals, on the other hand, are more risky and difficult to achieve.


Stock markets, despite their centuries of history, remain complex but highly beneficial. While there are no hard-and-fast rules for success, history has shown that analysis, perseverance, and the ability to stick to your plans can help you succeed.

Disclaimer: This is just a broad discussion around the topic. Different investors have different risk appetites and time horizons. Do not consider the above discussion as an investment advice in any manner. If you are a DIY investor, then please do your homework to figure out what is the best equity allocation for you. But if you have doubts, then talk to an investment advisor.
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