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.
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.
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 Conglomerates stocks listed below to correct, only to see them reach new highs, climb higher and drive the bull market to record levels: China Resources Enterprise Ltd. (CRHKY), Carlisle Companies Incorporated (CSL), General Electric Company (
GE Quick Quote GE - Free Report) , Griffon Corporation (GFF), Danaher Corporation (DHR)
Fear and greed often lead investors into behavioral traps since most investors are followers who react, rather than anticipate market moves.
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: 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 minor crashes - instead, have the patience to weather the storm, or even better, milk the opportunity to buy low.
Warren Buffett has made an incredible piece of his fortune because of this basic standard. 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. 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 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 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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