By E.B. Tucker, editor, Strategic Investor
On Monday morning, September 22, 2008, about a half hour before the stock market opened, I made a decision that changed my life.
“Sell LNC at market on the open,” I said, my voice straining through the cell phone. My intellect nearly stopped me. But my gut compelled me to act.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” asked Gene, my stock broker at the time. Gene was taking a ferry to an exclusive golf course on the North Carolina coast and had a terrible cell connection. I’m sure making this sell order was the last thing he wanted to do.
“Yes,” I insisted. “Get the trade in now.”
At the time, LNC was my largest stock holding. LNC is Lincoln National Corp., a major life insurance and annuity company. In 2006, LNC had acquired a smaller life insurance company in a stock deal. I owned shares of that company, so when LNC bought it at a premium, I held onto the stock. I looked at the company as a long-term holding – a well-run life insurance business can be a great long-term stock investment…