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When Does Market Timing Actually Work? - September 23, 2019

Zacks Equity Research

Have you ever dreamed of being that one in a million investor who has the talent to perfectly time the markets?

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.

Individual investors who focus their efforts on timing the market typically miss chances. For example, many investors have overlooked chances to benefit from buying the Basic Materials stocks at the first opportunity, by attempting to buy them during a pullback only to see these stocks accomplish new unsurpassed highs: Arconic Inc. (ARNC), Acacia Mining PLC (ABGLF), Balchem Corporation (BCPC), US Gold Corp (USAU), Trecora Resources (TREC)

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: Never attempt and time tops and bottoms.

Surrendering the objective to time the tops and bottoms gives you the adaptability to benefit and increase your odds to secure profits over the long-term, even if your calls aren't always right.

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 big difference between a stock market crash and small correction. 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 idea one step further and often goes on a buying spree when markets turn, essentially buying additional shares of his top stock picks at a big discount and listening to his own advice, 'Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.'

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, 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.

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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Arconic Inc. (ARNC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Trecora Resources (TREC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Balchem Corporation (BCPC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Acacia Mining PLC (ABGLF) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
US Gold Corp (USAU) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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