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.
Giving up too soon at the first sign of inconvenience often leads to missed opportunities among numerous individuals who try to trade on their own retirement. For example, many investors have forfeited immense chances waiting for the Computer and Technology stocks to correct, only see the latter achieve new highs, move higher and drive the buyer markets to record levels: Acacia Communications, Inc. (ACIA - Free Report) , Axcelis Technologies, Inc. (ACLS - Free Report) , ACM Research, Inc. (ACMR - Free Report) , Adobe Systems Incorporated (ADBE - Free Report) , Autodesk, Inc. (ADSK - 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.
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: Attempting to time tops and bottoms is lose-lose situation.
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 his fortune based of this straightforward guideline. He cautions not to sell amid little crashes and to instead endure the temporary hardship and profit by concentrating on the long haul.
There is a noteworthy distinction between a complete market meltdown and a common 10% market correction. The theory is that if you like and bought a stock at a previous valuation prior to the correction, you should love the opportunity to this same at a steep discount since the underlying fundamentals are most likely still intact. 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 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.
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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