In the long-run, does consistent market timing really matter to be a successful investor?
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 Transportation stocks to correct or reach attractive entry levels? Only for them to continue to move higher and achieve new all-time highs: Matson, Inc. (MATX - Free Report) , Air France-KLM SA (AFLYY - Free Report) , Air Lease Corporation (AL - Free Report) , Allegiant Travel Company (ALGT - Free Report) , Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK - Free Report)
Dread and exuberance regularly propel investors into merely 'reacting' to market volatility, rather than envisioning market trends.
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.
Market timing is commonly perceived as the ability to guess the exact market top or bottom and make moves accordingly. However, there is a less common, rather straightforward market timing strategy that has been utilized effectively by insightful financial specialists like Warren Buffet for a considerable length of time.
Rule 1: Why trying to time the tops and bottoms of the market is a dead end.
Abandoning the goal to time the tops and bottoms precisely gives you the flexibility to profit, thereby increasing your chances to lock in built-up profits even if your calls aren't exactly 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 warns not to sell during small crashes, and weather the storm by focusing on the long term.
There is a noteworthy distinction between a complete market meltdown and a common 10% market 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 just human that many surrender to emotions and attempt and game the framework 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.
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.
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