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What to do if your ASX shares hit a record high

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has been on a tear in recent months. Since bottoming out on 23 March, the ASX 200 has gained more than 33% and is now sitting firmly above 6,000 points.

With all of this good news, there are bound to be some shares that have been performing better than others. And despite the questionable health of both the Australian and global economies right now, many ASX shares have reached all-time record highs in recent weeks.

Some of the lucky bunch include Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG), Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT), Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P), Xero Limited (ASX: XRO) and Ltd (ASX: KGN).

If you’ve been lucky enough to hold one (or more) of these shares, well firstly congratulations! It’s always a cause for celebration when you have a real winner like any one of these top companies.

But I’m sure many investors holding these shares might be a little conflicted about what to do next, given they likely have some (perhaps substantial) profits sitting on the table.

When should you sell a winner ASX share?

Well, that’s a very personal question. The first thing to say is that if you have supreme confidence that your company is a true winner and will keep winning for you in the years ahead, there is no reason to sell! Picture someone who bought CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) shares 10 years ago for around $30. If that person sold them when the share price hit $50, just to cash in a quick gain, I’m sure they would be ruing the decision today given CSL shares are currently going for around $282. After all, the great investor Warren Buffett is famous for saying his favourite time to sell shares is ‘never’.

But this doesn’t apply in all cases, of course. So if you bought into Afterpay, Xero or any other ASX share on a quick bet or a speculative play, it might be time to cash out if you’ve got some handsome profits on the table. Finding real and consistent winners usually involves a lot of research and dedication. If this isn’t your ‘jam’, then it might be time to recognise you bought a lottery ticket and got lucky.

But even if you did buy a wining share for a long-term investment, after doing your due diligence, there still might be a good cause for a sell. Your company’s shares might have become overvalued. You might not be impressed with how the company raised capital during the pandemic, or otherwise be dissatisfied with the direction they are taking the company.

Foolish takeaway

At the end of the day, a sell decision is yours alone and there is no way of knowing whether you made the right call until hindsight comes along. I always ask myself this question before executing a buy or sell order: ‘is it me or the person on the other end of the deal who might regret this in 5 years’ time?’.

Where to invest $1,000 right now

When investing expert Scott Phillips has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the flagship Motley Fool Share Advisor newsletter he has run for more than eight years has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.*

Scott just revealed what he believes are the five best ASX stocks for investors to buy right now. These stocks are trading at dirt-cheap prices and Scott thinks they are great buys right now.

*Returns as of June 30th

Sebastian Bowen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of CSL Ltd., ltd, Xero, and ZIPCOLTD FPO. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended ltd. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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