As of 01/24/2020
  Indus: 28,990 -170.36 -0.6%  
  Trans: 11,060 -83.58 -0.8%  
  Utils: 932 +3.37 +0.4%  
  Nasdaq: 9,315 -87.57 -0.9%  
  S&P 500: 3,295 -30.07 -0.9%  
YTD
 +1.6%  
 +1.5%  
 +6.0%  
 +3.8%  
 +2.0%  
  Targets    Overview: 01/14/2020  
  Up arrow29,500 or 28,300 by 02/01/2020
  Up arrow11,500 or 10,700 by 02/01/2020
  Up arrow1,025 or 900 by 02/01/2020
  Up arrow9,600 or 8,900 by 02/01/2020
  Up arrow3,350 or 3,200 by 02/01/2020
As of 01/24/2020
  Indus: 28,990 -170.36 -0.6%  
  Trans: 11,060 -83.58 -0.8%  
  Utils: 932 +3.37 +0.4%  
  Nasdaq: 9,315 -87.57 -0.9%  
  S&P 500: 3,295 -30.07 -0.9%  
YTD
 +1.6%  
 +1.5%  
 +6.0%  
 +3.8%  
 +2.0%  
  Targets    Overview: 01/14/2020  
  Up arrow29,500 or 28,300 by 02/01/2020
  Up arrow11,500 or 10,700 by 02/01/2020
  Up arrow1,025 or 900 by 02/01/2020
  Up arrow9,600 or 8,900 by 02/01/2020
  Up arrow3,350 or 3,200 by 02/01/2020

Bulkowski's Hold On!

 

This article discusses how long you need to hold onto a stock to make a profit, based on the performance of a market index.

 

Picture of my dog

To make money, how long should you hold onto a stock? I'll give you the probabilities in a moment, but here's how I did it. I downloaded the daily, weekly, and monthly price data from yahoo finance using the S&P 500 index and then went to work. The data ranges from January 3, 1950 to April 13, 2010. For the computation, I used overlapping periods. For one year, as an example, I determined whether price closed higher from April 1, 2010 to May 1, 2009. Then I used the next month, March 1, 2010 to April 1, 2009, and so on. I summed the number of up closes compared to the number of samples and found the percentage.

In other words, I counted the number of times price closed higher for each period. The table below shows what I found.


Period
Percentage
Up Closes

Period
Percentage
Up Closes
Daily53%5 Years83%
Weekly56%6 Years86%
Monthly59%7 Years90%
1 Year71%8 Years91%
2 Years79%9 Years92%
3 Years83%10 Years92%
4 Years84%  

For example, if you bought the S&P 500 index and sold it a day later, you would have a 53% chance of making money -- all else being equal. If you hold onto the index for a week, the probability of a gain rises to 56%. Hold for 5 years, and the probability rises to 83%.

If you are having problems making money in this market, then consider holding longer. Or just buy low and sell high.

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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See Also

 

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My novels:  Bumper's Story Head's Law

Chart Patterns: After the Buy Getting Started in Chart Patterns, Second Edition Trading Basics Fundamental Analysis and Position Trading Swing and Day Trading Visual Guide to Chart Patterns Encyclopedia of Candlestick Charts Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns 2nd Edition Trading Classic Chart Patterns

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