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How to Time the Markets Like an Investing Pro - May 19, 2020

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.

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 Business Services stocks at the first opportunity, by attempting to buy them during a pullback only to see these stocks accomplish new unsurpassed highs: Accenture PLC (ACN), Alliance Data Systems Corporation (ADS), Advanced Disposal Services Inc. (ADSW), Adecco SA (AHEXY), ABM Industries Incorporated (ABM)

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.

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: Why trying to time the tops and bottoms of the market is a dead end.

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 an incredible piece of his fortune because of this basic standard. 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.

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, 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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Accenture PLC (ACN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Alliance Data Systems Corporation (ADS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ABM Industries Incorporated (ABM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Adecco SA (AHEXY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Advanced Disposal Services Inc. (ADSW) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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