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How to Time the Markets Like an Investing Pro - November 07, 2019

Zacks Equity Research

There is no better feeling for an investor than trusting your gut or doing your research and timing the markets correctly, right?

Indeed, even among the individuals who don't seek to be the ideal market timer, many feel they can call a top and act in accordance. It is these tendencies that make investors sit on the sidelines and hang tight for a better chance to put money into 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: Bioptix, Inc. (RIOT), AstroNova, Inc. (ALOT), Cinedigm Corp (CIDM), Aqua Metals, Inc. (AQMS), The Hackett Group, Inc. (HCKT)

Investment emotional triggers (fear and greed) can lead to costly mental mistakes by investors who typically fall into the trap of being a market follower instead of a market leader.

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

Abandoning the goal to time the tops and bottoms precisely gives you the flexibility to profit, thereby increasing your chances to lock in built-up profits even if your calls aren't exactly right.

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 his fortune based off 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. The theory is that if you like and bought a stock at a previous valuation prior to the correction, you should love the opportunity to this same at a steep discount since the underlying fundamentals are most likely still intact. 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. 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.

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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Bioptix, Inc. (RIOT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Cinedigm Corp (CIDM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AstroNova, Inc. (ALOT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
The Hackett Group, Inc. (HCKT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Aqua Metals, Inc. (AQMS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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