In the long-run, does consistent market timing really matter to be a successful investor?
In fact, even among long-term investors who don't attempt to time the markets, being able to call the top of the market is a skill that many think they possess. This misguided confidence is often driving investors to sit on the sidelines and wait it out for better market opportunities.
Missed investing opportunities by exiting at the first sign of trouble is a common pattern among many self-directed investors. Case in point: How many investors have missed huge opportunities waiting for the Utilities stocks listed below to correct, only to see them reach new highs, climb higher and drive the bull market to record levels: Algonquin Power Utilities Corp. (AQN - Free Report) , American Electric Power Company, Inc. (AEP - Free Report) , The AES Corporation (AES - Free Report) , Atlantica Yield PLC (AY - Free Report) , Avangrid, Inc. (AGR - Free Report)
Fear and greed often lead investors into behavioral traps since most investors are followers who react, rather than anticipate market moves.
Successful market timing requires three key ingredients: 1) A reliable signal to tell you when to get in and out of stocks (or bonds, gold or other types of investments). 2) The ability to interpret the signal correctly. 3) The discipline to act on it.
Many investors think of market timing success as a win or lose proposition. But there is a less notable, rather straightforward, successful market timing approach that has been utilized effectively time after time by astute investors like Warren Buffet.
Rule 1: Why trying to time the tops and bottoms of the market is a dead end.
Abandoning the goal to time the tops and bottoms precisely gives you the flexibility to profit, thereby increasing your chances to lock in built-up profits even if your calls aren't exactly right.
Rule 2: Make an effort not to sell in the midst of little crashes. Muster the courage to trust your gut and buy best in class stocks at a discount.
Warren Buffett has made a great part of his fortune due to this simple rule. He warns not to sell during small crashes, and weather the storm by focusing on the long term.
There is a major distinction between a financial crash and a mild market reset. No matter what happens in the stock market, chances are that the stocks you own will eventually come back to their pre - crash value; hanging on to your original positions, or opportunistically averaging down, during market downs can be the shrew distraction to take. Warren Buffett takes this thought one step further by often buying outsized positions in value stocks he likes across the board when markets turn, essentially leveraging his bottoms-up analysis and stock picking acumen.
A Risk Adjusted Trading Strategy Should be Followed for Your Retirement Assets
It's just human that many surrender to emotions and attempt and game the framework by timing the market. But consider this: Nobel Laureate William Sharpe found in 1975 that a market timer would have to be accurate 74% of the time to beat a passive portfolio. Indeed, even a slight outperformance most likely wouldn't justify the efforts - and given that even the specialists for the most part come up short at it, market timing shouldn't be your exclusive methodology for investing, particularly when it comes to building your retirement nest egg.
Chasing alpha, outsized, short - term returns through market timing and other high - risk bets is acceptable only within a small part of your investable resources, however for your long - term retirement assets a 'risk-adjusted' investment discipline is what largely bodes well.
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