Buy before it goes up, sell before it goes down – in simplistic terms, that is what timing the market is about, and most of us would want to do this whether investing in bonds, stocks or mutual funds. Investors who know their stock market chops have one or two options – they can incisively time the market, go with a solid investment, or improve his/her rate of return by combining the two options. But to make the long story short, you may want to be careful, because if you want to increase your rate of return by timing the market, this could be a gamble. You will be best advised to always be on the lookout when timing the market, to expect the unexpected, because making an unlucky investment at the wrong time can cost you a smashing return or cost you money at the end of the day.
Timing the market is a two-pronged strategy. And it can be very tricky, for you have to correctly decide on two things – first, when do you sell and second, when do you buy. You can kiss your chances of a good rate of return if you fail to correctly ascertain even one of those factors. Everybody wanting to try this should be aware of the above.
Quick Tip – the stock market, by nature, would go up more often than it would drop.
When stock markets decline they tend to decline very quickly. In other words, a short-term loss would have more gravity than a short-term gain.
It would not take a long time for the majority of the stock market gains to be posted accordingly. You may abjure the bulk of the gains simply by missing even one or two days’ worth of good gains.
Not many investors are good timers. This is why marketing timing should not be the be-all and end-all of your investment game plan – it may help you some and add some value, but there are other techniques that, if used at the right time, involve less risks, guarantee more potential returns and are thus better primed for success.
We shall quickly discuss in this last paragraph the reason why timing is such a challenge for many investors, and the reason is simple – being too emotionally involved in the investment. Investors who invest on emotion tend to overreact: they invest when prices are high and sell when prices are low. Those in the know in the world of business are professional enough to put their hearts on the line, and know how to time their investments in such a way that would be successful, yet the bulk of their rates of return is generated through other strategies such as security selection, for instance. With that said, investors would have a better chance improving their rates of return with a Tactical Asset Allocation – a good one can make market timing work. These are funds designed to increase value, but do not rely on emotional, histrionic market timing – they rely on the transmogrification of the investment mix (bonds, stocks, cash, etc.) and follow stringent rules and regulations.