2 ASX 200 shares I recently sold

It can be wise to lock in profits, sometimes.

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Most of my ASX share investing is done with the long-term in mind, but occasionally I'm happy to make a shorter-term profit if the return I'm hoping for happens quickly. In this article, I'm going to tell you about two S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) shares I recently sold.

It's not always a good idea to take profit off the table. Winners can keep winning, and the sale can lead to paying (capital gains) tax.

But, I thought it was the right time to exit these two ASX 200 shares

Centuria Capital Group (ASX: CNI)

I bought this ASX share a few months ago when the market was more worried about interest rates, inflation and the outlook.

High interest rates are obviously a negative for real estate (and managers) because not only is their debt more expensive, but it also pushes down on the value of asset prices like property.

The Centuria share price had fallen more than 60% from September 2021 (and it's still down more than 50%).

I managed to buy the ASX 200 share at such a low price that a 30% rise in the Centuria share price wouldn't recover much of the lost ground. It also came with a projected distribution yield of 8%, at the time.

I was hoping for a 30% capital return, which is what I was aiming for, to take two or three years. Instead, I made a 35% return in just a couple of months, which reflects a very good annualised return.

In the next two or three years I think the Centuria share price can rise a lot from here, but I was happy to take that solid return in such a short period of time as it was one of my lower-conviction ideas, and then put the cash to work in other opportunities.

If the business can hold onto its existing investors and win new institutional clients, then this could reinvigorate investor interest in the business.

Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS)

I bought this ASX 200 share as the lithium price was crashing. I'm a big believer in looking at cyclical industries like resources and retail when they're going through a bad time.

Pilbara Minerals is one of the best and strongest lithium miners in Australia, with growing production, strong growth plans for investing in the lithium value chain, and a great balance sheet. I decided to invest in the ASX 200 share with the thought that the market had become overly bearish on ASX lithium shares.

I very recently sold Pilbara Minerals shares for a 12% gain. I largely decided to sell to free up some cash for another investment which I'll write about soon when Fool's trading rules allow, but I was also happy to exit after four months for a good annualised return.

There's a good chance the lithium price could keep recovering sooner rather than later because Chinese demand is reportedly rising. We'll have to see what happens.

Foolish takeaway

I was expecting to own both of these stocks for a lot longer, but I was happy to lock in good double-digit returns for a relatively short amount of time. I'm looking forward to redeploying the money into exciting growth opportunities.

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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