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, Random Roger (258 clicks)
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Roger Nusbaum submits: Recently I posted that I sold Telecom New Zealand (NZT) and swapped into another, unnamed telecom stock.

That unnamed stock was BT Group (NYSE:BT), the old British Telecom. I bought it on February 23 at $36.87. It was kind of a 'right time right place' pick and the name is up about 10% or so at the current price.

I put a stop order in a few minutes ago at $40.25 with it trading at $40.42. I put the stop so close because 10% might have been a reasonable expectation for an entire year, let alone two weeks.

According to Schwab's quote the low on the day is $40.28, so I am a little below that number and I am hoping I don't get taken out but obviously I don't know.

The point here is that if you are going to use common stocks in your portfolio you need to be prepared to have an exit strategy. It doesn't matter if it is exactly right or not, just having the discipline will make you a better manager over time.

Also I think this speaks to another point which is not relying on just one type of exit strategy. I have written many times that stops orders are not the be-all-end-all.

When I sold Google (too early) I felt a stop order was not the way to go because a hot potato like GOOG could easily drop a lot at the open and execute a sale at an unexpected price. BT is less capable of big drops -- but no stock is immune of course.

BT 1-yr chart:

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Source: A Telecom Trade That Worked -- Lessons Learned (NZT, BT)