Could there be a more frustrating share than BT Group (LSE: BT-A) right now? This giant of a telecoms company is popular with investors the length and breadth of the country because of its big, well-known name, and the way it was offered to the public during the privatisation craze in the 1980s. Even my late grandparents piled into BT shares in the government’s first offering to the public in 1984, and they’d never owned a share in their long lives before that. But they made a packet on BT because they were wise enough to sell their holdings after they’d gone up a lot. When they were sitting on a big gain, they nailed down their profits, as successful traders and investors such as Mark Minervini are fond of saying. The share price is down more than 50% since the end of 2015, driven by a challenging trading environment and a murky outlook. Yet long-termers holding the shares since 1984 will have seen it all before. I think if I’d been holding the shares since the eighties, through all of that, I’d clearly be a ‘lifer’ and would keep holding on now to see what happens.
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