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Timing the Market, Is it Possible? - June 05, 2020

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.

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.

Missed investing opportunities by exiting at the first sign of trouble is a common pattern among many self-directed investors. Case in point: How many investors have missed huge opportunities waiting for the Utilities stocks listed below to correct, only to see them reach new highs, climb higher and drive the bull market to record levels: Atlantica Yield PLC (AY), American Electric Power Company, Inc. (AEP), The AES Corporation (AES), Avangrid, Inc. (AGR), Algonquin Power Utilities Corp. (AQN)

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.

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.

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: Don't sell during small crashes - ride the storm out, or better yet, take advantage of the opportunity.

Warren Buffett has made his fortune based of this straightforward guideline. He cautions not to sell during little crashes, and encourages enduring them by concentrating on the long haul.

There is a big difference between a stock market crash and small correction. 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 idea further by frequently going on purchasing binges when the markets turn, basically purchasing extra shares of his top stock picks at a major markdown and doubling - down on his very own recommendations.

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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Atlantica Yield PLC (AY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
American Electric Power Company, Inc. (AEP) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
The AES Corporation (AES) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Avangrid, Inc. (AGR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Algonquin Power Utilities Corp. (AQN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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