The Market Timing Secrets No One Talks About - October 21, 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.

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 Basic Materials stocks listed below to correct, only to see them reach new highs, climb higher and drive the bull market to record levels: Barrick Gold Corporation (GOLD), Arch Coal Inc. (ARCH), Aluminum Corporation of China Limited (ACH), Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (AEM), Sappi Ltd. (SPPJY)

Dread and exuberance regularly propel investors into merely 'reacting' to market volatility, rather than envisioning market trends.

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 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: Attempting to time tops and bottoms is lose-lose situation.

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 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 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.

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, think about this: Nobel Laureate William Sharpe found in 1975 that a market timer would need to be precise 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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Barrick Gold Corporation (GOLD) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Arch Coal Inc. (ARCH) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (AEM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Aluminum Corporation of China Limited (ACH) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Sappi Ltd. (SPPJY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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