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When Does Market Timing Actually Work? - December 20, 2019

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Have you ever dreamed of being that one in a million investor who has the talent to perfectly time the markets?

Indeed, even among the individuals who don't seek to be the ideal market timer, many feel they can call a top and act in accordance. It is these tendencies that make investors sit on the sidelines and hang tight for a better chance 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 Business Services stocks listed below to correct, only to see them reach new highs, climb higher and drive the bull market to record levels: Cinedigm Corp (CIDM), ABM Industries Incorporated (ABM), Accenture PLC (ACN), Alliance Data Systems Corporation (ADS), Advanced Disposal Services Inc.

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.

Accomplished market timing requires three key components: 1) A dependable sign of when to get in and out of stocks. 2) The capacity to act upon signals quickly and accurately. 3) Have the stomach to act on market signals, no matter how counterintuitive the move may be.

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: 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: Try not to sell amid little crashes - instead exploit the opportunity by buying.

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 major distinction between a financial crash and a mild market reset. If the companies you own are established and successful, they are likely to return to their pre - crash price before long, making holding on the wisest decision. Warren Buffett takes this idea further by frequently going on purchasing binges when the markets turn, basically purchasing extra shares of his top stock picks at a major markdown and doubling - down on his very own recommendations.

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. 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.

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