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When Does Market Timing Actually Work? - August 06, 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 Conglomerates stocks to correct or reach attractive entry levels? Only for them to continue to move higher and achieve new all-time highs: Ck Hutchison Holdings Ltd (CKHUY), Bunzl PLC (BZLFY), Barloworld Ltd. (BRRAY), China Merchants Holdings International Co. (CMHHY), Honeywell International Inc. (HON)

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.

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.

Many investors believe that market timing is a short-term investment strategy. There is a less known, more effective, longer-term market timing approach that has been used successfully by astute investors like Warren Buffet.

Rule 1: Attempting to time tops and bottoms is lose-lose situation.

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 an incredible piece of his fortune because of this basic standard. 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 key distinction between a small correction and a market crash. 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.

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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Ck Hutchison Holdings Ltd (CKHUY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Honeywell International Inc. (HON) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
China Merchants Holdings International Co. (CMHHY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Barloworld Ltd. (BRRAY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Bunzl PLC (BZLFY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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