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When Does Market Timing Actually Work? - October 25, 2019

Zacks Equity Research

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.

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.

Giving up too soon at the first sign of inconvenience often leads to missed opportunities among numerous individuals who try to trade on their own retirement. For example, many investors have forfeited immense chances waiting for the Finance stocks to correct, only see the latter achieve new highs, move higher and drive the buyer markets to record levels: American Assets Trust, Inc. (AAT), AeroCentury Corp. (ACY), Cedar Realty Trust, Inc. (CDR), MFA Financial, Inc. (MFA), Kingstone Companies, Inc (KINS)

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.

Productive market timing requires three key parts: 1) A dependable sign for when to get in and out of stocks. 2) The ability to follow up on the sign rapidly and precisely. 3) The ability to be completely unemotional and trust in the signal no matter the current market environment.

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 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: Try not to sell amid little crashes - instead exploit the opportunity by buying.

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

There is a noteworthy distinction between a complete market meltdown and a common 10% market 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 idea further by frequently going on purchasing binges when the markets turn, basically purchasing extra shares of his top stock picks at a major markdown and doubling - down on his very own recommendations.

A Risk Adjusted Trading Strategy Should be Followed for Your Retirement Assets

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. 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.

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