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Yes, You Can Time the Market. Find out How - October 14, 2019

Zacks Equity Research

Is the ability to time the markets more of a data-driven science or a 'gut - feeling' art?

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.

Giving up too soon at the first sign of inconvenience often leads to missed opportunities among numerous individuals who try to trade on their own retirement. For example, many investors have forfeited immense chances waiting for the Transportation stocks to correct, only see the latter achieve new highs, move higher and drive the buyer markets to record levels: Air France-KLM SA (AFLYY), Air Lease Corporation (AL), Allegiant Travel Company (ALGT), Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK), Matson, Inc. (MATX).

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.

Market timing is commonly perceived as the ability to guess the exact market top or bottom and make moves accordingly. However, there is a less common, rather straightforward market timing strategy that has been utilized effectively by insightful financial specialists like Warren Buffet for a considerable length of time.

Rule 1: Never attempt and time tops and bottoms.

Forget tracking for market tops or bottoms to expand your odds for success with a longer timeline and give yourself the flexibility to eventually profit, regardless of whether your calls are spot-on or way off-base.

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 warns not to sell during small crashes, and weather the storm by focusing on the long term.

There is a big difference between a stock market crash and small correction. If you own shares of a company that is well - established and has strong fundamentals, they are probably going to rebound to their pre - crash prices eventually, thereby rendering holding on a wise 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 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. 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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Air France-KLM SA (AFLYY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Allegiant Travel Company (ALGT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Air Lease Corporation (AL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Matson, Inc. (MATX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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