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When Does Market Timing Actually Work? - August 28, 2019

Zacks Equity Research

Is the ability to time the markets more of a data-driven science or a 'gut - feeling' art?

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.

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: Air France-KLM SA (AFLYY), Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK), Allegiant Travel Company (ALGT), Air Lease Corporation (AL), Matson, Inc. (MATX)

Dread and exuberance regularly propel investors into merely 'reacting' to market volatility, rather than envisioning market trends.

Fruitful market timing requires three key parts: 1) A solid sign to guide you when to get in and out of stocks (or securities, gold or different kinds of investments). 2) The capacity to act on the sign accurately. 3) The control to follow up 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: Never attempt and time tops and bottoms.

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: 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 an incredible piece of his fortune because of this basic standard. He cautions not to sell during little crashes, and encourages enduring them by concentrating on the long haul.

There is a major distinction between a financial crash and a mild market reset. 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 one step further by often buying outsized positions in value stocks he likes across the board when markets turn, essentially leveraging his bottoms-up analysis and stock picking acumen.

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.

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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Air France-KLM SA (AFLYY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Allegiant Travel Company (ALGT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Air Lease Corporation (AL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Matson, Inc. (MATX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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