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Timing the Market, Is it Possible? - August 16, 2019

Zacks Equity Research

Being that unique investor who has the power to consistently time the market and always make a profit is the dream for most people who trade their own accounts.

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.

Giving up too soon at the first sign of inconvenience often leads to missed opportunities among numerous individuals who try to trade on their own retirement. For example, many investors have forfeited immense chances waiting for the Transportation stocks to correct, only see the latter achieve new highs, move higher and drive the buyer markets to record levels: Air Transport Services Group, Inc (ATSG), Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW), ArcBest Corporation (ARCB), American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL), Air China Ltd. (AIRYY)

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

Productive market timing requires three key parts: 1) A dependable sign for when to get in and out of stocks. 2) The ability to follow up on the sign rapidly and precisely. 3) The ability to be completely unemotional and trust in the signal no matter the current market environment.

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: Never try and time tops and bottoms.

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: Try not to sell amid little crashes - instead exploit the opportunity by buying.

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 noteworthy distinction between a complete market meltdown and a common 10% market 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.

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 Transport Services Group, Inc (ATSG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Air China Ltd. (AIRYY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ArcBest Corporation (ARCB) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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