In the long-run, does consistent market timing really matter to be a successful investor?
Even among those who don't aspire to be the perfect market timer, many think they can call a top and act accordingly. It's at these times when investors choose to sit on the sidelines and wait for a 'perceived' better opportunity to invest in the market.
Individual investors who focus their efforts on timing the market typically miss chances. For example, many investors have overlooked chances to benefit from buying the Aerospace stocks at the first opportunity, by attempting to buy them during a pullback only to see these stocks accomplish new unsurpassed highs: Airbus Group (EADSY), CAE Inc (CAE), Ducommun Incorporated (DCO), Bae Systems PLC (BAESY), Curtiss-Wright Corporation (
CW Quick Quote CW - 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.
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.
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.
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: 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 a great part of his fortune due to this simple rule. 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 big difference between a stock market crash and small correction. 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 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.
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.