Technology

Timing the Market, Is it Possible? - December 03, 2019

There is no better feeling for an investor than trusting your gut or doing your research and timing the markets correctly, right?

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.

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 Transportation stocks listed below to correct, only to see them reach new highs, climb higher and drive the bull market to record levels: Air France-KLM SA (AFLYY), Air Lease Corporation (AL), Allegiant Travel Company (ALGT), Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK), Matson, Inc. (MATX)

Anxiety and eagerness regularly lead investors into psychological traps because most investors take cues from past market moves and trends instead of attempting to anticipate potential 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 try and time tops and bottoms.

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: 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 his fortune based off this simple rule. 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. 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 just human that many surrender to emotions and attempt and game the framework 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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Air France-KLM SA (AFLYY): Free Stock Analysis Report

Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK): Free Stock Analysis Report

Allegiant Travel Company (ALGT): Free Stock Analysis Report

Air Lease Corporation (AL): Free Stock Analysis Report

Matson, Inc. (MATX): Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

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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