How to take profit intelligently


Hi, Investing newbie with an interest in swing trading and a general question about techniques for taking profit.

How do you take profits when your positions appreciate? Obviously you sell shares. but my confusion is that when you sell shares you are reducing your positions of that security and thus relying on it to grow with fewer shares. Do you have to replace what you sell with another investment?

Or more generally, what are strategies to live off a portfolio? (Let's assume your account is growing and you have enough to take out per month for a reasonable monthly income.) What are the strategies for buying and selling and when, in order to take out cash? One idea I heard is that once your shares appreciate (if they do obviously), you sell an amount equal to your original investment. So your positions are pure profit at that point.

Obviously you can tell I am confused on the concept and strategy on profit taking. Thank you for any guidance!
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