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The Truth About Market Timing - August 24, 2020

Being that unique investor who has the power to constantly time the market and continually make a profit is the dream for most traders and investors.

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.

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 Basic Materials stocks to correct, only see the latter achieve new highs, move higher and drive the buyer markets to record levels: Arch Coal Inc. (ARCH), Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (AEM), Akzo Nobel NV (AKZOY), Mercer International Inc. (MERC), Barrick Gold Corporation (GOLD)

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

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: Why trying to time the tops and bottoms of the market is a dead end.

Abandoning the goal to time the tops and bottoms precisely gives you the flexibility to profit, thereby increasing your chances to lock in built-up profits even if your calls aren't exactly 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 his fortune based off this simple rule. He cautions not to sell during little crashes, and encourages enduring them by concentrating on the long haul.

There is a key distinction between a small correction and a market crash. No matter what happens in the stock market, chances are that the stocks you own will eventually come back to their pre - crash value; hanging on to your original positions, or opportunistically averaging down, during market downs can be the shrew distraction to take. Warren Buffett takes this idea one step further and often goes on a buying spree when markets turn, essentially buying additional shares of his top stock picks at a big discount and listening to his own advice, 'Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.'

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.

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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Arch Coal Inc. (ARCH): Free Stock Analysis Report

Akzo Nobel NV (AKZOY): Free Stock Analysis Report

Barrick Gold Corporation (GOLD): Free Stock Analysis Report

Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (AEM): Free Stock Analysis Report

Mercer International Inc. (MERC): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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