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Simple Market Timing Strategies That Work - September 02, 2019

Zacks Equity Research

Being that unique investor who has the power to constantly time the market and continually make a profit is the dream for most traders and investors.

Indeed, even among those investors who don't try to consistently time the markets, many think they can still call a top and act opportunistically. It's at these times when an investor who speculates often sits on the sidelines and looks for better opportunities 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: Danaher Corporation DHR, Griffon Corporation (GFF), General Electric Company (GE), Carlisle Companies Incorporated (CSL), ITT Inc. (ITT)

Fear and greed often lead investors into behavioral traps since most investors are followers who react, rather than anticipate market moves.

Accomplished market timing requires three key components: 1) A dependable sign of when to get in and out of stocks. 2) The capacity to act upon signals quickly and accurately. 3) Have the stomach to act on market signals, no matter how counterintuitive the move may be.

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: Never attempt and time tops and bottoms.

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 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, 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.

Actively trading for alpha, outsized, short - term gains through market timing and other high - risk trading strategies is fine with a small portion of your investable assets, but for your longer - term retirement assets, a risk -adjusted focused investment solution generally makes more sense.

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