NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- For whatever reason, many of us have trouble taking profits. You get into a stock, it runs and then some strange psychology stops you from selling out of fear of leaving money on the table.Last week, I discussed how I was proud of myself for bailing out of Verizon (VZ - Get Report) ahead of earnings without concern I'd miss out on further upside.
While I'm no longer long EXPE, way back in March of 2011 over at Seeking Alpha, I suggested hopping into the EXPE January 2013 $20 call options when they traded for about $5.00. The stock ended up nearly 15% at $52.39 in afterhours trading Thursday. At some point, however, you've got to stop pressing your luck. Unless you've really done a ton of homework on the stock and consider it one you'll pass on to your great grandkids, taking profits makes a ton of sense. It's even more difficult to unload a winner if you have a personal connection to it or there's a great story that accompanies the rise. For many investors, Whole Foods Market (WFM - Get Report) could fit both bills, while Sprint (S) represents a great story as a turnaround play. WFM data by YCharts
Sadly, I own Nokia (NOK), not Sprint. If NOK even comes close to popping 70% in three months, I will sell at least a portion of my remaining shares in a heartbeat. It can be difficult to sell a stock that you perceive to be in the middle of a turnaround, but, remember, one quarter does not make a turnaround. And even if it does, it will not last forever, particularly in the competitive space Sprint runs in.