Is the ability to time the markets more of a data-driven science or a 'gut - feeling' art?
Indeed, even among those investors who don't try to consistently time the markets, many think they can still call a top and act opportunistically. It's at these times when an investor who speculates often sits on the sidelines and looks for better opportunities to put money into the market.
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 Consumer Staples stocks listed below to correct, only to see them reach new highs, climb higher and drive the bull market to record levels: Embotelladora Andina S.A. (AKO.B - Free Report) , Associated British Foods PLC (ASBFY - Free Report) , Aramark (ARMK - Free Report) , Ahold NV (ADRNY - Free Report) , Blue Apron Holdings, Inc. (APRN - 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.
The popular image of market timing is that it calls for making drastic, all-or-nothing moves at the precise, exact market top or bottom. There is a less well-known, rather simple market timing approach that has been used successfully by savvy investors like Warren Buffet for decades.
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 a great part of his fortune due to 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 only human that many succumb to greed and try and game the system 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. 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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