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Investing strategies: How buy and hold can beat trading

For one, you’ll save money on fees and you could pay a lower capital gain tax with this strategy.

Buy-and-hold is a great long-term strategy that comes with many advantages as opposed to frequent trading. That’s because it’s incredibly hard to time the market and pick the price tops and bottoms. Plus, you won’t pay fees for multiple transactions and could save yourself some frayed nerves from watching short-term volatility.

What is the buy-and-hold strategy?

Buy-and-hold is an investment strategy in which the investor buys the stock — or any other financial instrument — with the intention of holding it long term regardless of short-term price fluctuations. This strategy is popular with cryptocurrency investors, which is also known as “hodling”.
In buy-and-hold, investors typically buy financial instruments they believe will appreciate over time, often time-tested companies with long track records. Also, they generally don’t try to time the market or sell high with the intention of buying back low. This strategy is a form of passive management recommended by Warren Buffett, Jack Bogle and Peter Lynch.

Stocks and funds to look at

We don’t know what will happen in the future, so we’ll look at past examples where a buy-and-hold strategy has made some investors rich.

Company/TickerIPO dateIPO priceEarly 2021 value if you’d invested $10,000 investment at the IPO price
Tesla/TSLAJune 2010$17$529,410
Alphabet/GOOGAugust 2004$85$299,050
Netflix/NFLXMay 2002$15$394,660

The Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bull 3x Shares (SOXL) is a buy-and-hold ETF to consider. It’s an ETF that tracks semiconductors and is triple-leveraged, meaning it moves three times more than the price of all the stocks in the ETF. If you bought $10,000 worth of shares at the lowest 2011 price, your investment would now be worth $15,950,000.

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Risk and rewards

The main risk of a buy-and-hold strategy lies in the company you invest in. If it goes bankrupt, you could lose all of your investment.
Luckily, this rarely happens overnight, so you would likely see the red flags long before it happens. Large, established companies do go away, but not overnight. This can give you more than enough time to sell your stock and pick another one. Likewise, the stock price may go down, but the bottom won’t fall out overnight.
The reward comes when the stock makes gains over time. Beyond this obvious reward, you’ll also save money on trading fees. Buying and holding means you only pay fees once to buy the share and then a second time to sell them.
Another benefit is that you get to pay a lower capital gain tax if you hold a stock longer than a year.

How to use the buy-and-hold strategy

  1. Do your research. Use a stock screener to find the right stock or ETF for your portfolio. With a stock screener you can select the market cap, dividend yield, sector and more.
  2. Open an account. When you find a stock or an ETF that you strongly believe will perform well in the future, you’ll need to open an account to buy it. If you don’t have an investment account, compare online brokers.
  3. Buy the stock. As soon as your account is open and funded, you can go ahead and buy the stock you want.

Compare trading platforms

For the buy and hold strategy, you’ll need a broker that doesn’t charge inactivity fees because it’s implied you won’t trade often. Most brokers today don’t charge such fees, but make sure to read the fine print and avoid surprises.

1 - 6 of 6
Name Product Available asset types Stock trade fee Minimum deposit Signup bonus
Finder Award
eToro
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$0
$10
$10
when you sign up and deposit $100
Winner of Finder’s Best Broker for Beginners award. Not available in NY, NV, MN, TN, and HI.
Robinhood
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$0
$0
Get a free stock
when you successfully sign up and link your bank account.
Make unlimited commission-free trades, plus earn 4% interest on uninvested cash in your account with Robinhood Gold.
SoFi Invest
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$0
$0
Get up to $1,000
when you fund a new account within 30 days.
Winner of Finder’s Best Low-Cost Broker award.
tastyworks
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$0
$0
Get $200 in US stocks
when you open and fund an account with min. $2,000 for 3+ mos.
Highly commended for Best Derivatives Trading Platform award.
Public.com
Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency, Alternatives
$0
$0
Get up to $300 in either stocks or crypto
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Trade stocks and ETFs commission-free, plus gain access to alternative investments like art, NFTs and more.
Interactive Brokers
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs, Cryptocurrency, Futures, Forex
$0
$0
N/A
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*Signup bonus information updated weekly.

Bottom line

Buy-and-hold is a solid long-term investment strategy. You don’t have to do a lot of research to see that it works — simply check any price chart of successful companies and see how it performed in the past. Despite short-term volatility, great stocks will usually outperform in the long run.

Information on this page is for educational purposes only. Finder is not an advisor or brokerage service, and we don't recommend investors to trade specific stocks or other investments.

Finder is not a client of any featured partner. We may be paid a fee for referring prospective clients to a partner, though it is not a recommendation to invest in any one partner.

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