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Timing the Market, Is it Possible? - August 29, 2019

Zacks Equity Research

Is the ability to time the markets more of a data-driven science or a 'gut - feeling' art?

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.

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 Consumer Discretionary stocks to correct or reach attractive entry levels? Only for them to continue to move higher and achieve new all-time highs: Select Comfort Corporation (SNBR), AMC Networks Inc. (AMCX), AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. (AMC), Century Casinos, Inc. (CNTY), American Woodmark Corporation (AMWD)

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.

Market timing is commonly perceived as the ability to guess the exact market top or bottom and make moves accordingly. However, there is a less common, rather straightforward market timing strategy that has been utilized effectively by insightful financial specialists like Warren Buffet for a considerable length of time.

Rule 1: Why trying to time the tops and bottoms of the market is a dead end.

Surrendering the objective to time the tops and bottoms gives you the adaptability to benefit and increase your odds to secure profits over the long-term, even if your calls aren't always right.

Rule 2: Don't sell during minor crashes - instead, have the patience to weather the storm, or even better, milk the opportunity to buy low.

Warren Buffett has made a great part of his fortune due to this simple rule. He benefits by focusing on the long - term and buying high quality stocks at a discount during large market corrections to profit down the road.

There is a noteworthy distinction between a complete market meltdown and a common 10% market correction. If the companies you own are established and successful, they are likely to return to their pre - crash price before long, making holding on the wisest 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.'

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 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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Select Comfort Corporation (SNBR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Century Casinos, Inc. (CNTY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AMC Networks Inc. (AMCX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
American Woodmark Corporation (AMWD) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. (AMC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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