In the long run, buy and hold strategy is less costly than other more active strategies but has some traps also.
Some may ask how are possible traps of buy and hold strategy? So many investors have this approach in investing and see this strategy as the best and safest one. But recently, due to the coronavirus pandemic that caused, and still has influence, on the stock markets over the globe, as well as on the overall economy, we can hear different sounds. Lately, some investors propose some other strategies and marked some traps of buy and hold strategy in investing.
News of the end of the “buy and hold” strategy in investing was blooming. But, those sounds are also greatly magnified. Saying that this strategy isn’t able to survive the last market downturn is nonsense, at least. The truth is that this strategy is able to survive any market condition. This pandemic environment cannot decrease the importance of this strategy.
But is the buy and hold strategy perfect, is it possible that it has some traps, downfalls, pitfalls? That is exactly what we would like to point out. Also, it is important to notice that the majority of traps of buy and hold strategy are developed from investors’ behavior. They became more worried about their investments, which is normal in the situation when we have had a great market decline. But this strategy is still relevant and it will be despite some traps it has.
Traps of Buy and Hold Strategy
Trap 1: Buy and Forget
This is the first of many traps of buy and hold strategy in investing.
Managing your portfolio is a must. Long-term investing doesn’t mean that you can neglect the importance of developments and adjustments, if necessary, in your portfolio. We all know that famous Buffet likes to keep the investment for a long time, but do you think he never looks at his portfolio? It’s 100% opposite. He, and many other investors who do care about capital invested, are fully informed of each of their holdings. So, as you can see, one of the traps of buy and hold strategy is the approach to this investing expressed in the mantra “buy and forget”.
You simply have to keep your eyes on your portfolio. It is very important to check if the company you bought is really the right one. Times are changing, management is changing, the trend is changing, and since literally everything and anything may affect your holdings, it is smart to stay fully tuned on your investment.
For example, let’s say you bought the shares of stock in some company that looked pretty good but suddenly you reveal that it wasn’t such a good pick. What are you going to do? Will you keep holding that stock? Why not, your strategy was the buy and hold? See how you can jump into the trap very easily? If you bought the wrong company even at a low price, the buy and hold strategy is a stupid move.
What if you were smart and purchased the right company but the price was wrong? Do you still think you did a good job? Of course not. So, you should never even try the buy and forget strategy because it is a losing strategy. And also, one of the traps of the buy and hold strategy.
Trap 2: The simplicity of buy what you know
It is a nice mantra, seducing like a poem, but that level of simplicity can be very dangerous. Why is simplicity one of the traps of buy and hold strategy in investing? To make this clear, do you hold stocks of the company whose products you use in everyday life? Yes? Look, there is nothing wrong, you can like the company’s product because of its quality, design, smell, whatever. However, it is unreasonable as a criterion when it comes to picking the stock for long-term investing. The meaning of buy what you know is something else. You don’t need to buy Disney’s coats or sleepwear if you want to buy the shares of the company.
Investing is a very serious job, so when you choose stocks some other things you’ll need to know before buying them. For example, what is the company’s prospect, how the company is positioned among competitors, is the stock fair valued, etc.
Some studies unveiled that inexperienced investors have a disabled blind spot when they estimate what they know and what not in the sense of picking the stocks. Remember, stocks are not your lover. You don’t need to love them. Keep that love in your private life. But when you estimate and evaluate the stocks you’ll need your rational mind. Free of feelings and emotions. It’s simple. When you are choosing the stocks where you’re gonna put your hard-earned money, the emotions are a burden and could lead you to the wrong and harmful decisions.
Trap 3: Stay to your investment plan
Of course, it is a good decision and you have to do that but not always. We said that numerous times: Stick to your plan! Yes, but only if you hold well-evaluated stocks in your portfolio. If you have a portfolio filled with stocks you “love” and you picked them randomly, you’ll have to change your plan and your portfolio. What else can you do? Nothing. You can do nothing with wrongly chosen stocks. Why would you like to hold stocks with poor performances? And there is a great chance that you picked losers if you didn’t build your portfolio based on investment outlook. So, how to stay with your plan if you have losers? The only reasonable action is to improve your investment portfolio. You have to change your holdings, and you’ll need to be more realistic when picking the stock.
Don’t be afraid! You don’t need a detailed and exact outlook for growth in the next year. But you surely need to have a basic understanding of the economy and the market.
For example, the whole world has an economic downturn today. The fears of many companies regarding solvency are rising. But this situation is likely not to continue. Actually, we are 100 percent sure it will not. The economy will bounce back soon or later, there is no doubt. And you as an investor also have to know that.
To put it simply, if you have a long investment horizon, why should you be worried if prompt recovery or a slow recovery will come. Your only concern should be your ability to be clever enough and to be prepared to adjust your position if your investment outlook has to change.
If you stick to your investment plan and you do not manage your investments with due diligence, you’ll be faced with traps of buy and hold strategy in investing.
Trap 4: The money is locked
Despite the fact that it looks like a great strategy, the “buy and hold” strategy has some traps and drawbacks. First of all, this strategy means investing for the long run, so your money invested will be locked in stocks. During the holdings period, it might happen that you’ll have to stay away from other investment opportunities. It will be hard for all of the investors to have such discipline, particularly if they made bad purchasing and choose lagging stocks. Especially today when many investors realize that their choice wasn’t that good.
Trap 5: Time is my friend
Well, it can be true especially if we count on compounding. But just because you owned the stock for 15 years, does not mean that you are qualified for a generous reward for your capital invested. Just look at the differences in return between your stocks. If your portfolio includes a few great investments, over time it can be dragged down by the losers. Of course, what or who can stop you from holding all losers in your portfolio. That’s your choice. But think about diversification or buying some index funds. We hope you understand that time isn’t always your friend and that your investments may drop over time. There are no guarantees unless you keep your eye on your investing, manage your portfolio, adjust it is necessary, or engage some to handle it. But yet, nothing is 100 percent sure when it comes to long-term investing. You should count on it. And try to avoid traps of buy and hold strategy because it has them many.
Trap 6: My best players will always beat the market
Really? What if the market crashes? Despite the fact that the markets will survive even an Armageddon, the market crashes can lessen the value of your investment significantly. For example, if a prolonged bear market occurs, investors stick to the buy and hold strategy and can lose all gains. Yes, your winners are solid stocks and they may bounce back, but if you own the stocks that are notably going down, your portfolio will be hurt a lot. That kind of stock could wipe out your portfolio. Think about the oil sector today. What do you think, will it be better? Of course, but the damage is done.
If you prefer the buy and hold strategy it doesn’t mean that you’ll never need a risk management strategy in place. Every single investor or trader must know when to pull the plug and avoid bigger losses.
Buy and hold strategy in investing is one of the most popular ways to invest in the stock market. In most cases, investors who practice this strategy have no worries. But, if we say it has no drawbacks we’ll lie. Moreover, this strategy has some serious traps and failures. If you pay enough attention to your portfolio it is possible to avoid them. That will require your time and money to secure your investment against market crashes. Also, you have to know how and when to cut your losses and take profits.