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When Does Market Timing Actually Work? - August 20, 2019

Zacks Equity Research

In the long-run, does consistent market timing really matter to be a successful investor?

Indeed, even among those investors who don't try to consistently time the markets, many think they can still call a top and act opportunistically. It's at these times when an investor who speculates often sits on the sidelines and looks for better opportunities 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 Finance stocks to correct or reach attractive entry levels? Only for them to continue to move higher and achieve new all-time highs: MFA Financial, Inc. (MFA), Kingstone Companies, Inc (KINS), Cedar Realty Trust, Inc. (CDR), AeroCentury Corp. (ACY), American Assets Trust, Inc. (AAT)

Anxiety and eagerness regularly lead investors into psychological traps because most investors take cues from past market moves and trends instead of attempting to anticipate potential 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 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: Don't sell during small crashes - ride the storm out, or better yet, take advantage of the opportunity.

Warren Buffett has made his fortune based of this straightforward guideline. He cautions not to sell during little crashes, and encourages enduring them by concentrating on the long haul.

There is a big difference between a stock market crash and small correction. If you own shares of a company that is well - established and has strong fundamentals, they are probably going to rebound to their pre - crash prices eventually, thereby rendering holding on a wise 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.

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, 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. Indeed, even a slight outperformance most likely wouldn't justify the efforts - and given that even the specialists for the most part come up short at it, market timing shouldn't be your exclusive methodology for investing, particularly when it comes to building your retirement nest egg.

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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MFA Financial, Inc. (MFA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AeroCentury Corp. (ACY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Kingstone Companies, Inc (KINS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
American Assets Trust, Inc. (AAT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Cedar Realty Trust, Inc. (CDR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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