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2. A recommendation by an analyst to neither buy nor sell a security. An analyst makes a hold recommendation when technical and/or fundamental indicators show middling performance by a security. It is also called a neutral or market perform recommendation.
A securities analyst's recommendation to hold appears to take a middle ground between encouraging investors to buy and suggesting that they sell.
However, in an environment where an analyst makes very few sell recommendations, you may interpret that person's hold as an indication that it is time to sell.
Hold is also half of the investment strategy known as buy-and-hold. In this context, it means to keep a security in your portfolio over an extended period, perhaps ten years or more.
The logic is that if you purchase an investment with long-term potential and keep it through short-term ups and downs in the marketplace, you increase the potential for building portfolio value.