What Qualities Make a Stock a Forever Holding?: No. 4 -- Simply Put, Safety

A good investment can be a lot like a good relationship: The wise among us pick their partners carefully, and they're looking ahead to the long haul. And asMotley Fool fans well know, one key to Foolish investing is the buy and hold philosophy -- no high-frequency day trading going on here!

On this episode ofMotley Fool Answers, Alison Southwick and Robert Brokamp are joined by Jason Moser as he breaks down what he looks for in a "never-sell" stock. Next attribute on the agenda: A company where the risk is relatively low. But how they define "risk" may not be quite what you'd expect.

A full transcript follows the video.

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This video was recorded on August 2, 2016.

Alison Southwick: The next one we want to talk about is the idea of safety. What does safety mean when we're looking at a company as a potential never-sell stock?

Jason Moser: A lot of times we equate safety with risk. And I think when people think of risk, they're trying to figure out what the chance is that they're actually going to lose the money that they invest. So when we talk about risk, we're talking about, essentially, the permanent impairment of the capital that you're investing. If I'm going to invest $1,000 in this business today, what are the chances that I will lose all of my money? That really helps dictate the level of risk in the investment.

I think when you look at businesses today, you want to take a lot of these aspects that we talk about (culture, financials, strategy) and they all roll into the safety factor. We want to know that this company has good financials, a good business model, a good strategy, and a good culture. These all add up, along with things like knowing that they're not making all of their money from one particular item, or from one particular party.

I think Facebookis a great example of a business, today, that's so big, and has such a big reach, such a tremendous network from not only just Facebook, but from WhatsApp, from Messenger, from Instagram, and from whatever else they may decide to acquire. And let's face it. They will have the power to basically do whatever they want because of their size. We know that's going to be a pretty safe investment, at least for the foreseeable future.

And again, just because it's safe today doesn't mean it's going to be safe a year from now or five years from now. You always want reassess those types of things. But I think that a lot of these things that we talk about feed into that safety assessment and it's certainly one you want to give due attention.

Alison Southwickand Jason Moserhave no position in any stocks mentioned. Robert Brokamp, CFP owns shares of Facebook. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Facebook. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. 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.