Last week's question and answer
I came to life in 1965, when my co-founders sold an accordion and a bicycle in order to buy their first knitting machine. I'm based in Italy, but you'll find my 5,000 retail outlets in 120 countries throughout the world. My colorful brands include Sisley, Playlife, Nordica and Killer Loop. My advertisements tend to be colorful, too, often causing controversies. In 2000, I tackled capital punishment. I produce 90 million items of clothing annually. Who am I? (Answer: Benetton Group)
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Driven to regret
Thirty-two years ago, college paid for, married and moving into a house, my wife and I found the need for a second car. We owned 300 shares of PennSquare Mutual Fund (now Federated American Leaders), then trading for $8.95 per share. We sold 100 shares and bought the car. Today, the remaining shares have grown in value to almost $200,000. Ouch that's one expensive used car! We sold it four years later for $200. G.C., West Lawn, Pa.
The Fool Responds: Occasionally it's hard to avoid selling some investments, especially for large purchases. But it's useful to think twice or thrice before doing so, to make sure that the money will be well spent. Consider the alternative uses for the funds (investment vs. car vs. down payment vs. vacation in Tahiti, for example), and decide which use makes the most sense and which will serve you best in the long run.