Back to top

Image: Bigstock

When Does Market Timing Actually Work? - September 18, 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.

Lost chances by those who attempt to time the market is a common mistake among those who trade their own accounts. How many traders have lost investing opportunities by choosing to wait for the Utilities stocks to correct or reach attractive entry levels? Only for them to continue to move higher and achieve new all-time highs: American Water Works Company, Inc. (AWK - Free Report) , Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP (BIP - Free Report) , Artesian Resources Corporation (ARTNA - Free Report) , Atlantic Power Corporation (AT - Free Report) , Pinnacle West Capital Corporation (PNW - Free Report)

Anxiety and eagerness regularly lead investors into psychological traps because most investors take cues from past market moves and trends instead of attempting to anticipate potential 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 believe that market timing is a short-term investment strategy. There is a less known, more effective, longer-term market timing approach that has been used successfully by astute investors like Warren Buffet.

Rule 1: Why trying to time the tops and bottoms of the market is a dead end.

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 off this simple rule. He cautions not to sell during little crashes, and encourages enduring them by concentrating on the long haul.

There is a noteworthy distinction between a complete market meltdown and a common 10% market correction. If you own shares of a company that is well - established and has strong fundamentals, they are probably going to rebound to their pre - crash prices eventually, thereby rendering holding on a wise decision. Warren Buffett takes this idea one step further and often goes on a buying spree when markets turn, essentially buying additional shares of his top stock picks at a big discount and listening to his own advice, 'Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.'

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.

Actively trading for alpha, outsized, short - term gains through market timing and other high - risk trading strategies is fine with a small portion of your investable assets, but for your longer - term retirement assets, a "risk -adjusted focused" investment solution generally makes more sense.

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