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Sell for the right reason
Don Phillips
Managing director, Morningstar

Tom Mathers, founder of the Mathers Fund, shared these words of wisdom at an early Morningstar Conference: "If you find a great growth company, don't sell it just because it gets a little pricey - you may never get back in again." He told a charming story about how he and his wife were redecorating their home in the 1960s and wanted to buy a piano.

Tom held some shares in Disney, and while he liked the company, he thought its stock price was a bit rich at the time, so he sold the Disney stock to fund the purchase of the piano. Tom never got back into Disney and instead watched it rise and rise. Years later Tom would walk through his living room, see the piano and mutter to himself, "That's the most expensive damn piano on the face of the planet!"

NEXT: Careful of people you trust

Last updated July 22 2008: 11:27 AM ET
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