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Timing the Market, Is it Possible? - September 25, 2019

Zacks Equity Research

Have you ever dreamed of being that one in a million investor who has the talent to perfectly time the markets?

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.

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 Business Services stocks to correct or reach attractive entry levels? Only for them to continue to move higher and achieve new all-time highs: The Hackett Group, Inc. (HCKT), Aqua Metals, Inc. (AQMS), AstroNova, Inc. (ALOT), Insperity, Inc. (NSP), Bioptix, Inc. (RIOT)

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.

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 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: Never try and time tops and bottoms.

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

Warren Buffett has made his fortune based of this straightforward guideline. He cautions not to sell amid little crashes and to instead endure the temporary hardship and profit by concentrating on the long haul.

There is a big difference between a stock market crash and small 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 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. 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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The Hackett Group, Inc. (HCKT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AstroNova, Inc. (ALOT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Insperity, Inc. (NSP) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Aqua Metals, Inc. (AQMS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Bioptix, Inc. (RIOT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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