Barclays shares: sell or hold in 2016?

I (we: my wife & I) have some shares in Barclays (LSE:BARC), and have had since 2010. It's a relatively small holding, but nonetheless it's there. I've watched as the value of those shares has toppled from around the 350p mark when I got them, to the 161p they closed at yesterday. I remember having conversations with my wife about waiting until they got back up to 330p before we sold them off. 'LOL' is the expression. They never got near it.

As the bad news around the banking sector (PPI, LIBOR, increased regulatory requirements with regards to reserves) continued to rain down, we became increasingly despondent. I've been determined to get rid, adamant that they will never get back and are just a bad asset to have.

But hang on. Hang on just a minute. Let's look into this a bit more.

Analysts are actually fairly bullish about Barclays. For all the perceived nervousness, many are positing that 2016 isn't going to be as bad as 2008. QE is an option in 2016 in the Eurozone, and while China's growth is slowing, it's still expanding at a good rate. The FTSE seems to represent good value, and, as Motley Fool point out, Barclays have a new CEO and management team, and are making great strides in becoming more efficient as a profitable, investment banking focused organisation. MF sees a return to 300p as "very achievable" in the medium term. On top of that, Hargreaves Lansdown are advising BUY.

So where am I at?

Part of me thinks these shares are never going to recover and get rid. The other part (I only have 2 parts, it appears; read into that what you will) reckons things can't get MUCH worse, so why not ride it out. I'm leaning to the latter, with a view to reassessing at the end of the year. I'm bracing myself for 150p and hoping for a rally up through the rest of the year. Regardless of what happens though, I'm glad I've done a bit of reading.

We got a good deal with these shares, and I'm keen to use them as a foothold in stocks and shares with a view to continuing to increase my knowledge and build a portfolio I'm interested in and which provides a residual income. I've found some great articles on the Retirement Investing Today blog around building a passive income around your portfolio, and will continue to explore this site.