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When Does Market Timing Actually Work? - August 13, 2019

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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.

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: Pinnacle West Capital Corporation (PNW - Free Report) , Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (AQN - Free Report) , Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP (BIP - Free Report) , American Water Works Company, Inc. (AWK - Free Report) , Atlantic Power Corporation (AT - 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.

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: Never attempt and time tops and bottoms.

Forget tracking for market tops or bottoms to expand your odds for success with a longer timeline and give yourself the flexibility to eventually profit, regardless of whether your calls are spot-on or way off-base.

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 an incredible piece of his fortune because of this basic standard. He warns not to sell during small crashes, and weather the storm by focusing on the long term.

There is a key distinction between a small correction and a market crash. 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 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 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. 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.

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.

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