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The Truth About Market Timing - February 24, 2020

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?

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.

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: Pinnacle West Capital Corporation (PNW), Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP (BIP), Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (AQN), Atlantic Power Corporation (AT), American Water Works Company, Inc. (AWK)

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 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.

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: 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 a great part of his fortune due to this simple rule. 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 key distinction between a small correction and a market crash. 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 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. 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.

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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Click here for free report>> Pinnacle West Capital Corporation (PNW) : Free Stock Analysis Report Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP (BIP) : Free Stock Analysis Report Atlantic Power Corporation (AT) : Free Stock Analysis Report American Water Works Company, Inc. (AWK) : Free Stock Analysis Report Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (AQN) : Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research