Being that unique investor who has the power to consistently time the market and always make a profit is the dream for most people who trade their own accounts.
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 Consumer Staples stocks to correct or reach attractive entry levels? Only for them to continue to move higher and achieve new all-time highs: Blue Apron Holdings, Inc. (APRN), Aramark (ARMK), Associated British Foods PLC (ASBFY), Ahold NV (ADRNY), Embotelladora Andina S.A. (
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Dread and exuberance regularly propel investors into merely 'reacting' to market volatility, rather than envisioning market trends.
Productive market timing requires three key parts: 1) A dependable sign for when to get in and out of stocks. 2) The ability to follow up on the sign rapidly and precisely. 3) The ability to be completely unemotional and trust in the signal no matter the current market environment.
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: Never try and time tops and bottoms.
Abandoning the objective to time the tops and bottoms conclusively gives you the flexibility to profit, and extends your chance to benefit from the equity markets over the long-term whether your specific market timing calls are right or wrong.
Rule 2: Don't sell during minor crashes - instead, have the patience to weather the storm, or even better, milk the opportunity to buy low.
Warren Buffett has made his fortune based off this simple rule. 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 key distinction between a small correction and a market crash. 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 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.
When It Comes to Trading Your Retirement, A Risk Adjusted Trading Strategy Should be Followed
It's only human that many succumb to greed and try and game the system 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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