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The Truth About Market Timing - September 25, 2019

Zacks Equity Research

In the long-run, does consistent market timing really matter to be a successful investor?

Indeed, even among those investors who don't try to consistently time the markets, many think they can still call a top and act opportunistically. It's at these times when an investor who speculates often sits on the sidelines and looks for better opportunities to put money into 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 Construction stocks to correct or reach attractive entry levels? Only for them to continue to move higher and achieve new all-time highs: Anhui Conch Cement Co. (AHCHY), Armstrong Flooring, Inc. (AFI), AECOM (ACM), Arcosa, Inc. (ACA), AAON, Inc. (AAON)

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.

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.

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 an incredible piece of his fortune because of this basic standard. 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. The theory is that if you like and bought a stock at a previous valuation prior to the correction, you should love the opportunity to this same at a steep discount since the underlying fundamentals are most likely still intact. 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 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. 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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Anhui Conch Cement Co. (AHCHY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AAON, Inc. (AAON) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Armstrong Flooring, Inc. (AFI) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AECOM (ACM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Arcosa, Inc. (ACA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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