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The Keys to Successfully Timing the Markets - December 06, 2019

Zacks Equity Research

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

Even among those who don't aspire to be the perfect market timer, many think they can call a top and act accordingly. It's at these times when investors choose to sit on the sidelines and wait for a 'perceived' better opportunity to invest in the market.

Missed investing opportunities by exiting at the first sign of trouble is a common pattern among many self-directed investors. Case in point: How many investors have missed huge opportunities waiting for the Oils-Energy stocks listed below to correct, only to see them reach new highs, climb higher and drive the bull market to record levels: Antero Midstrm (AM), Ameresco, Inc. (AMRC), Hess Corporation (HES), Panhandle Royalty Company (PHX), Nabors Industries Ltd. (NBR)

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.

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

Forget tracking for market tops or bottoms to expand your odds for success with a longer timeline and give yourself the flexibility to eventually profit, regardless of whether your calls are spot-on or way off-base.

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 benefits by focusing on the long - term and buying high quality stocks at a discount during large market corrections to profit down the road.

There is a big difference between a stock market crash and small correction. If the companies you own are established and successful, they are likely to return to their pre - crash price before long, making holding on the wisest decision. 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. 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.

If you'd like to learn how to 'super-charge' your retirement assets, get our free report:

Will You Retire as a Multi-Millionaire? 7 Things You Can Do Now.


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Antero Midstrm (AM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Nabors Industries Ltd. (NBR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Hess Corporation (HES) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Ameresco, Inc. (AMRC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Panhandle Royalty Company (PHX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
 
Zacks Investment Research