Back to top

Image: Bigstock

Timing the Market, Is it Possible? - September 11, 2020

Read MoreHide Full Article

There is no better feeling for an investor than trusting your gut or doing your research and timing the markets correctly, right?

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.

Individual investors who focus their efforts on timing the market typically miss chances. For example, many investors have overlooked chances to benefit from buying the Industrial Products stocks at the first opportunity, by attempting to buy them during a pullback only to see these stocks accomplish new unsurpassed highs: Alcoa Corp. (AA - Free Report) , ABB Ltd (ABB - Free Report) , Acco Brands Corporation (ACCO - Free Report) , Barnes Group, Inc. (B - Free Report) , Albany International Corporation (AIN - Free Report)

Investment emotional triggers (fear and greed) can lead to costly mental mistakes by investors who typically fall into the trap of being a market follower instead of a market leader.

Fruitful market timing requires three key parts: 1) A solid sign to guide you when to get in and out of stocks (or securities, gold or different kinds of investments). 2) The capacity to act on the sign accurately. 3) The control to follow up on it.

Market timing is commonly perceived as the ability to guess the exact market top or bottom and make moves accordingly. However, there is a less common, rather straightforward market timing strategy that has been utilized effectively by insightful financial specialists like Warren Buffet for a considerable length of time.

Rule 1: Attempting to time tops and bottoms is lose-lose situation.

Surrendering the objective to time the tops and bottoms gives you the adaptability to benefit and increase your odds to secure profits over the long-term, even if your calls aren't always right.

Rule 2: Don't sell during small crashes - ride the storm out, or better yet, take advantage of the opportunity.

Warren Buffett has made his fortune based of this straightforward guideline. He benefits by focusing on the long - term and buying high quality stocks at a discount during large market corrections to profit down the road.

There is a big difference between a stock market crash and small correction. The theory is that if you like and bought a stock at a previous valuation prior to the correction, you should love the opportunity to this same at a steep discount since the underlying fundamentals are most likely still intact. Warren Buffett takes this thought a notch higher and frequently goes on a buying binge when markets turn, purchasing additional shares of his favorite stocks at a major markdown and tuning in to his own recommendation of being greedy when others are scared, and being scared when others are greedy.

When It Comes to Trading Your Retirement, A Risk Adjusted Trading Strategy Should be Followed

It's just human that many surrender to emotions and attempt and game the framework by timing the market. But, think about this: Nobel Laureate William Sharpe found in 1975 that a market timer would need to be precise 74% of the time to beat a passive portfolio. Even a slight outperformance probably wouldn't be worth the energy - and given that even the experts generally fail at it, market timing shouldn't be your exclusive investing strategy of choice, especially using assets earmarked for your retirement.

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.

If you'd like to learn how to 'super-charge' your retirement assets, get our free report:

Will You Retire as a Multi-Millionaire? 7 Things You Can Do Now.

Published in