Technology

Timing the Market, Is it Possible? - July 14, 2020

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.

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 Transport Services Group, Inc (ATSG), Air China Ltd. (AIRYY), ArcBest Corporation (ARCB), American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL), Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW)

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.

Many investors think of market timing success as a win or lose proposition. But there is a less notable, rather straightforward, successful market timing approach that has been utilized effectively time after time by astute investors like Warren Buffet.

Rule 1: Never attempt 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: Don't sell during small crashes - ride the storm out, or better yet, take advantage of the opportunity.

Warren Buffett has made his fortune based of this straightforward guideline. 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 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.

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. 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.

If you'd like to learn how to 'super-charge' your retirement assets, get our free report:

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Air Transport Services Group, Inc (ATSG): Free Stock Analysis Report

American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL): Free Stock Analysis Report

ArcBest Corporation (ARCB): Free Stock Analysis Report

Air China Ltd. (AIRYY): Free Stock Analysis Report

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW): Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research

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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