The past 12 months have witnessed the utter repudiation of cherished market mantras. Buy the winners. Buy the dips. The New Economy is different from any other.

But one sacred cow of investing remains unsullied, enshrined as part of the fabric of the American Judeo-Christian Buffett ethos: Buy and hold. Or does it?

Consider this:

Buying

$10,000 of "must-own stock"

Cisco Systems

(CSCO) - Get Report

12 months ago would leave you

holding

roughly $2,540 now. If last February you'd put $10,000 in the

T.Rowe Price Science & Technology

fund, the nation's largest tech fund, you'd be down to about $5,442 a year later, according to

Morningstar.

Nonetheless, the chorus of mutual fund companies, financial planners, investment gurus and media -- for a variety of reasons -- continue to trot out the three simple words, without pausing for further reflection or elaboration.

TheStreet.com

is taking a different tack.

In today's special report,

Redefining Buy and Hold

, we're putting the old saw under a harsh light. We're not saying throw it out and start selling -- selling right now might be tantamount to selling at the bottom! Buy and hold as a theory makes sense, but it should not replace active management and constant scrutiny of your investments.

TSC

is redefining buy and hold to help investors understand why this message is peddled to Main Street by Wall Street -- and telling you when it no longer makes sense to hold.

Among the features in this special report: Fund Junkie columnist

Ian McDonald

looks at

what kind of portfolio you can actually buy and hold and also

why the fund industry prescribes the strategy for investors even when it's not necessarily the best medicine for investors;

Catherine Valenti

reports that some

planners regretted pushing the mantra when some investors were clearly too heavy into growth and tech;

John Rubino

discusses

how you should buy and hold -- until your reason for holding is gone; and

Jamie Heller

offers

an essay on why "buy and hold" has such a powerful -- and at times deleterious -- influence on the American investing culture.