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Simple Market Timing Strategies That Work - November 11, 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 Transportation stocks at the first opportunity, by attempting to buy them during a pullback only to see these stocks accomplish new unsurpassed highs: Air France-KLM SA (AFLYY), Air Lease Corporation (AL), Allegiant Travel Company (ALGT), Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK), Matson, Inc. (MATX)

Dread and exuberance regularly propel investors into merely 'reacting' to market volatility, rather than envisioning market trends.

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 think of market timing success as a win or lose proposition. But there is a less notable, rather straightforward, successful market timing approach that has been utilized effectively time after time by astute investors like Warren Buffet.

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: Make an effort not to sell in the midst of little crashes. Muster the courage to trust your gut and buy best in class stocks at a discount.

Warren Buffett has made a great part of his fortune due to this simple rule. He warns not to sell during small crashes, and weather the storm by focusing on the long term.

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 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 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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Air France-KLM SA (AFLYY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Allegiant Travel Company (ALGT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Air Lease Corporation (AL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Matson, Inc. (MATX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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