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The Truth About Market Timing - September 13, 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?

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.

Individual investors who focus their efforts on timing the market typically miss chances. For example, many investors have overlooked chances to benefit from buying the Medical stocks at the first opportunity, by attempting to buy them during a pullback only to see these stocks accomplish new unsurpassed highs: Cantel Medical Corp. (CMD), BioSpecifics Technologies Corp (BSTC), Champions Oncology, Inc. (CSBR), RadNet, Inc. (RDNT), TransEnterix, Inc. (TRXC)

Fear and greed often lead investors into behavioral traps since most investors are followers who react, rather than anticipate market moves.

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

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. 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 a notch higher and frequently goes on a buying binge when markets turn, purchasing additional shares of his favorite stocks at a major markdown and tuning in to his own recommendation of being greedy when others are scared, and being scared when others are greedy.

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, 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.

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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Cantel Medical Corp. (CMD) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
TransEnterix, Inc. (TRXC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Champions Oncology, Inc. (CSBR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
BioSpecifics Technologies Corp (BSTC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
RadNet, Inc. (RDNT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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