How to Time the Markets Like an Investing Pro - June 03, 2020

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.

Lost chances by those who attempt to time the market is a common mistake among those who trade their own accounts. How many traders have lost investing opportunities by choosing to wait for the Aerospace stocks to correct or reach attractive entry levels? Only for them to continue to move higher and achieve new all-time highs: Astronics Corporation (ATRO), AeroVironment, Inc. (AVAV), The Boeing Company (BA), AAR Corp. (AIR), Air Industries Group (AIRI)

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.

Abandoning the objective to time the tops and bottoms conclusively gives you the flexibility to profit, and extends your chance to benefit from the equity markets over the long-term whether your specific market timing calls are right or wrong.

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 of this straightforward guideline. He cautions not to sell during little crashes, and encourages enduring them by concentrating on the long haul.

There is a major distinction between a financial crash and a mild market reset. 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 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 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. 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:

Will You Retire as a Multi-Millionaire? 7 Things You Can Do Now.


Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
Astronics Corporation (ATRO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
The Boeing Company (BA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AAR Corp. (AIR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AeroVironment, Inc. (AVAV) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Air Industries Group (AIRI) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
 
Zacks Investment Research