Selling in May and Walking Away?

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Prague
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Sell in May and go away

Post by Prague » Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:24 pm

Does anyone follow this strategy, which worked for over 40 years but not last year? These are very interesting time we're seeing, poor job number equals stock gain while strong dollars ad lower energy prices drag down the market.

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Re: Sell in May and go away

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:05 pm

I removed a few off-topic responses. As a reminder, see: Forum Policy
We expect this forum to be a place where people can feel comfortable asking questions and where debates and discussions are conducted in civil tones.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

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Re: Sell in May and go away

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:07 pm

This question comes up every year, you're a few weeks early. :)

By Allan Roth, here's a CBS MoneyWatch 2014 article: Should you sell in May and go away?

By Rick Ferri, a 2013 thread: Sell in May and Go Away: Fact or Fiction?

From 2011: Sell in May and Go Away?
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Tamales
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Re: Sell in May and go away

Post by Tamales » Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:24 pm

I had to look it up. Not one I'd ever heard of before.

Here's how it originated:
"The saying originated as "Sell in May and go away. Stay away till St. Leger's Day," and it was based upon the concept that in England, the financial movers and shakers didn't return to the market until the end of horse racing season, traditionally St. Leger's Day, in mid-September. Over the years, the concept became Americanized by dropping the "St. Leger's Day" reference..." (from http://www.dailyfinance.com/2014/09/08/ ... is-summer/ )

There have been a number of articles written about it, if you google it. For example, this one: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101630987 says, "A famous study published in the American Economic Review in 2002 found that, yes, this phenomenon does exist and that returns on stock markets in 36 out of 37 countries studied from 1970 to 1998 were higher in the November to April period than they were in the May to October period.

But a study published in Econ Journal Watch in 2004 attributed the higher return to a couple of extreme data points, in particular the October 1987 crash in world equity prices and the August 1998 collapse of Long Term Capital Markets. '


There are certainly worse strategies you could follow, and there are tax implications with the trades every year to consider as well. It seems like some years it does well, some years OK, and some years not so well, compared to buy and hold. It had some pretty long stretches where it did well. Will that continue? Nobody knows for sure. Since there's no justifiable reason for it to be true every year, you'd just be rolling the dice.

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Re: Sell in May and go away

Post by MN Finance » Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:53 pm

Correlation vs causation. There's also a pattern whereby you would've come out ahead by selling when the AFC wins the super bowl and buying when the NFC wins. Correlated, sure. Caused, obviously not. Your original question is technically not any more valid than the football strategy since months on the calendar arent any more meaningful than football game outcomes to the market.

Prague
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Re: Sell in May and go away

Post by Prague » Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:35 am

LadyGeek wrote:This question comes up every year, you're a few weeks early. :)

By Allan Roth, here's a CBS MoneyWatch 2014 article: Should you sell in May and go away?

By Rick Ferri, a 2013 thread: Sell in May and Go Away: Fact or Fiction?

From 2011: Sell in May and Go Away?
Thanks. I was sent a link of Sy Harding's strategy in which he beats everyone in returns. Of course, he wants money before advice is given. I am always cautious of easy money advice as I know I rather executed what I know to make money. But I guess it is easier for some folks to sell ideas about making money than making money from such ideas.

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Re: Sell in May and go away

Post by wfrobinette » Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:19 pm

Prague wrote:
LadyGeek wrote:This question comes up every year, you're a few weeks early. :)

By Allan Roth, here's a CBS MoneyWatch 2014 article: Should you sell in May and go away?

By Rick Ferri, a 2013 thread: Sell in May and Go Away: Fact or Fiction?

From 2011: Sell in May and Go Away?
Thanks. I was sent a link of Sy Harding's strategy in which he beats everyone in returns. Of course, he wants money before advice is given. I am always cautious of easy money advice as I know I rather executed what I know to make money. But I guess it is easier for some folks to sell ideas about making money than making money from such ideas.
If he really is beating everyone in returns why does he have to peddle a newsletter? That's the question I always ask myself.

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Re: Sell in May and go away

Post by Prague » Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:08 pm

wfrobinette wrote:
Prague wrote:
LadyGeek wrote:This question comes up every year, you're a few weeks early. :)

By Allan Roth, here's a CBS MoneyWatch 2014 article: Should you sell in May and go away?

By Rick Ferri, a 2013 thread: Sell in May and Go Away: Fact or Fiction?

From 2011: Sell in May and Go Away?
Thanks. I was sent a link of Sy Harding's strategy in which he beats everyone in returns. Of course, he wants money before advice is given. I am always cautious of easy money advice as I know I rather executed what I know to make money. But I guess it is easier for some folks to sell ideas about making money than making money from such ideas.
If he really is beating everyone in returns why does he have to peddle a newsletter? That's the question I always ask myself.
Exactly. In addition, anyone can post an excel file indicating they beat the market. For me, it's purely a lot of pain in monitoring the market and good amount of luck in timing the trend. However, my method has high success due to illogical correlation between economy health and market performance. I am slowly getting through my thick skull that there is very little correlation and that is why indexing is the way to go.

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Re: Sell in May and go away

Post by surfstar » Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:15 pm

"October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks in. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February.” – Mark Twain

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Re: Sell in May and go away

Post by pennstater2005 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:14 pm

Heard of this but don't employ it. I simply purchase my fund twice a month and live my life. I don't worry about things I can't control. It's working pretty good so far.
“If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson

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Re: Sell in May and go away

Post by 4nursebee » Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:23 pm

No I don't do this. It is just a rhyme.
Banking in March? Wear lots of starch.
Concerned about money in June? Bury in under a big sand dune!
Some worry about July, I wonder why?
4nursebee

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Re: Sell in May and go away

Post by nisiprius » Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:37 pm

If it is the 1920s, and you have a speculative portfolio of individual stocks, and you are about to board a steamship for trip during which Marconigrams to your broker will be expensive and unreliable, then there might be some point to liquidating while you are out of touch and repurchasing when you return.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

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Ever Ready
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Re: Sell in May and go away

Post by Ever Ready » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:08 pm

Buy in May and then just stay (the course)!

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Re: Sell in May and go away

Post by PecuniaryPeccary » Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:38 pm

nisiprius wrote:If it is the 1920s, and you have a speculative portfolio of individual stocks, and you are about to board a steamship for trip during which Marconigrams to your broker will be expensive and unreliable, then there might be some point to liquidating while you are out of touch and repurchasing when you return.
Priceless. :sharebeer

Marconigrams... :P

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Re: Sell in May and go away

Post by rapporteur » Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:27 pm

tamales wrote:
The saying originated as "Sell in May and go away. Stay away till St. Leger's Day"...
One must also get the pronunciation right as well; St Leger is pronounced approximately as 'Salinger'. Those who find that pronunciation strange should consider other English names: Beaulieu (pronounced roughly byou-lee), Cholmondeley (pronounced roughly Chum-lee), Saint John (pronounced roughly Sinjin), and, my favourite, Featherstonhaugh (pronounced roughly Fenshaw).

And always remember those sage words of advice: "Don't say 'There goes the damned fox', say 'Tally-ho'."

Regards,

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Re: Sell in May and go away

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:06 pm

In an excellent book The Hour Between Dog and Wolf, John Coates notes that the Wall Street traders commonly take vacations in August and unload their positions at the end of July. If the mortals are selling in May, it must be a good buying opportunity; the traders may have perpetuated the May myth.

Also, psychologists and behavioral economists have established that people find rhymed statements more believable, just as stocks with more memorable names sell at higher multiples than those with random ones. (Just as in this Forum, you are more likely to remember--and like--a poster retiredjg than lgq3tr).

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Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by chicagoan23 » Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:25 pm

I know this "old saw" of a topic has come up in BH forums many times, and I know that it goes against the entire BH philosophy, and I know that data has shown it to be a strategy that doesn't work long-term, and I know that a long-term investing horizon makes short-term moves a blip on the radar, and I know moving out of the market is easy, but timing the return to the market is very, very hard.

That said, I think we saw some of that sentiment (of wanting to take money off the table because the calendar is flipping to May) starting in the markets today. We also are in store for a volatile and likely damaging election season, and a President who will be among the most polarizing ever on the day he or she is sworn in. The S&P 500 has rallied up nearly 15% in the past two and a half months, but growth was nonexistent (based on today's data) and rates are likely to move up later this year. It almost seems like a self-fulfilling prophesy....get out now and look to get back in once we get past some of the big events on the horizon.

Is anyone thinking of materially reducing equities exposure in the next week or so? Can someone please talk some sense into me......

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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by jebmke » Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:33 pm

Is there any data based analysis that supports this strategy?
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by jjface » Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:36 pm

Sell in May and you will pay.

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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by harikaried » Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:37 pm

Stay in May and walk away?

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blueblock
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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by blueblock » Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:40 pm

The Economist Intelligence Unit puts out a monthly overview, the latest dated last week. The summaries are available free.

http://gfs.eiu.com/Article.aspx?article ... 40&secId=4

You'll forgive me if I take their forecast over yours. :P

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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by David Jay » Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:41 pm

chicagoan23 wrote:I know this "old saw" of a topic has come up in BH forums many times, and I know that it goes against the entire BH philosophy, and I know that data has shown it to be a strategy that doesn't work long-term, and I know that a long-term investing horizon makes short-term moves a blip on the radar, and I know moving out of the market is easy, but timing the return to the market is very, very hard.

That said, I think we saw some of that sentiment (of wanting to take money off the table because the calendar is flipping to May) starting in the markets today. We also are in store for a volatile and likely damaging election season, and a President who will be among the most polarizing ever on the day he or she is sworn in. The S&P 500 has rallied up nearly 15% in the past two and a half months, but growth was nonexistent (based on today's data) and rates are likely to move up later this year. It almost seems like a self-fulfilling prophesy....get out now and look to get back in once we get past some of the big events on the horizon.

Is anyone thinking of materially reducing equities exposure in the next week or so? Can someone please talk some sense into me......
So your one data point is... TODAY?
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius

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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by chicagoan23 » Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:41 pm

Is there any data based analysis that supports this strategy?
Data says to stay in, based on results over very long-term periods. Analytically, this "strategy" makes little sense. Emotionally/non-logically, though, to me it seems like things are setting up for a volatile six months.

I am thinking of moving equities down from about 75% of my portfolio to maybe 60%....Just wondering if others are thinking along those same lines.

chicagoan23
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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by chicagoan23 » Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:43 pm

So your one data point is... TODAY?
Not exactly, just wondering if conventional wisdom on that concept is starting to manifest itself.

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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by cheese_breath » Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:46 pm

chicagoan23 wrote:
Is there any data based analysis that supports this strategy?
Data says to stay in, based on results over very long-term periods. Analytically, this "strategy" makes little sense. Emotionally/non-logically, though, to me it seems like things are setting up for a volatile six months.

I am thinking of moving equities down from about 75% of my portfolio to maybe 60%....Just wondering if others are thinking along those same lines.
Volatility is your concern? Volatility doesn't equate to loss.

I'm thinking "Stay in May all the way."
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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LiveSimple
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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by LiveSimple » Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:52 pm

Stay in May 2016.
See you in May 2040 :sharebeer

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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by Casper » Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:55 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
chicagoan23 wrote:
Is there any data based analysis that supports this strategy?
Data says to stay in, based on results over very long-term periods. Analytically, this "strategy" makes little sense. Emotionally/non-logically, though, to me it seems like things are setting up for a volatile six months.

I am thinking of moving equities down from about 75% of my portfolio to maybe 60%....Just wondering if others are thinking along those same lines.
Volatility is your concern? Volatility doesn't equate to loss.

I'm thinking "Stay in May all the way."
And volatility just over the next 6 months? That's not even a blip. And when are you planning on going back up to 75%? When the "volatility" is over? Will your decision to go back up to 75% be "emotional/non-logical" as well?

Stay the course.

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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:57 pm

blueblock wrote:The Economist Intelligence Unit puts out a monthly overview, the latest dated last week. The summaries are available free.

http://gfs.eiu.com/Article.aspx?article ... 40&secId=4

You'll forgive me if I take their forecast over yours. :P
That's some mighty specific forecasting by the fine folks at The Economist.

But wait... " Although our central forecast is that the business cycle will end in 2019, an external shock could bring it to a halt sooner"!

Ah yes, those dratted unpredictable external shocks...
("Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln...?")

So I guess one either stay or not stay in May.
Or not.
:annoyed

RM
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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by Steadfast » Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:58 pm

When the markets are down, I buy relatively more equities. When the markets are hot, I sit back and wait. But, I never sell core positions. In 25 years we can compare notes and see who had a more successful strategy. Good luck. You're going to need it.
We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are.

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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by FillorKill » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:07 pm

chicagoan23 wrote:...I know that data has shown it to be a strategy that doesn't work long-term, and I know that a long-term investing horizon makes short-term moves a blip on the radar, and I know moving out of the market is easy, but timing the return to the market is very, very hard.
If you're a long term investor....
Last edited by FillorKill on Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by blueblock » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:11 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
blueblock wrote:The Economist Intelligence Unit puts out a monthly overview, the latest dated last week. The summaries are available free.

http://gfs.eiu.com/Article.aspx?article ... 40&secId=4

You'll forgive me if I take their forecast over yours. :P
That's some mighty specific forecasting by the fine folks at The Economist.

But wait... " Although our central forecast is that the business cycle will end in 2019, an external shock could bring it to a halt sooner"!

Ah yes, those dratted unpredictable external shocks...
("Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln...?")

So I guess one either stay or not stay in May.
Or not.
:annoyed

RM
That's why it's a monthly report. Whatever they say in April, they can take it back in May. 8-)

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FelixTheCat
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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by FelixTheCat » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:20 pm

I was jealous of the other rhymers. Here's mine.


Sell in May and go away?
Felix is a wonderful, wonderful cat.

long_gamma
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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by long_gamma » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:27 pm

jebmke wrote:Is there any data based analysis that supports this strategy?
Image

YMMV
"Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth." --Mike Tyson

VAinvestor001
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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by VAinvestor001 » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:38 pm

That is interesting!

Do you have a similar chart(s) for some different sector funds, like healthcare, tech, consumer staples?

Thanks

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GKSD
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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by GKSD » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:52 pm

Get out of the market during May-Oct and do what? Sit in Cash?

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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by EyeYield » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:55 pm

Sell in May, May 19th, and buy on August 25th.

Oh, never mind, that was last year. :oops:

Sell in May and pay, pay, pay, capital gains taxes.

Get back in in November, lose two quarters of dividends and probably be where you were in May, maybe higher, maybe lower.

What's the point? Chasing possible futures and trading based on daily movements is like using a bar of soap everyday hoping it will grow.
"The stock market is a giant distraction from the business of investing." - Jack Bogle

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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by long_gamma » Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:05 pm

VAinvestor001 wrote:That is interesting!

Do you have a similar chart(s) for some different sector funds, like healthcare, tech, consumer staples?

Thanks

Sorry no.

I have for DJIA.

Image
"Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth." --Mike Tyson

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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by packet » Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:21 pm

chicagoan23 wrote:...this "old saw" of a topic has come up in BH forums many times... it goes against the entire BH philosophy... data has shown it to be a strategy that doesn't work long-term... a long-term investing horizon makes short-term moves a blip on the radar... moving out of the market is easy, but timing the return to the market is very, very hard.
First round’s on me.

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Toons
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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by Toons » Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:23 pm

Is May any different than the other 11 months?
I say invest in May,,,,or any other time for that matter :mrgreen:
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by tennisplyr » Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:27 pm

"By trying to avoid the pain, you might be missing the gain"
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

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Ged
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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by Ged » Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:30 pm

Ignore the noise.

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happyisland
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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by happyisland » Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:30 pm

chicagoan23 wrote:
Is there any data based analysis that supports this strategy?
Data says to stay in, based on results over very long-term periods. Analytically, this "strategy" makes little sense. Emotionally/non-logically, though, to me it seems like things are setting up for a volatile six months.

I am thinking of moving equities down from about 75% of my portfolio to maybe 60%....Just wondering if others are thinking along those same lines.
What does your IPS tell you to do?

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Taylor Larimore
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"Stay the Course"

Post by Taylor Larimore » Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:36 pm

Is anyone thinking of materially reducing equities exposure in the next week or so? Can someone please talk some sense into me....
chicagoan23:

When I am undecided, I listen to Jack Bogle:
Stay the course. No matter what happens, stick to your program. I've said "Stay the course" a thousand times, and I meant it every time. It is the most important single piece of investment wisdom I can give to you.
Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

peppers
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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by peppers » Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:55 pm

"Stay the Course!"

Signed by John C. Bogle in the book Common Sense on Mutual Funds in 2013

P.S. I couldn't resist :happy
"..the cavalry ain't comin' kid, you're on your own..."

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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by FabLab » Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:57 pm

One should always match insignificant concerns like building an investment portfolio with rhyming advice.
The fundamental things apply as time goes by -- Herman Hupfeld

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goingup
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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by goingup » Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:29 pm

There used to be a poster who would warn us all of an upcoming "unfavorable season". He's not around anymore so I think it's safe to stay invested.
(Anyone remember who that was??)

GoldenFinch
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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by GoldenFinch » Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:37 pm

Too late. Yesterday was the sell day.

Seriously, don't trade by nursery rhymes, stay the course.

J295
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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by J295 » Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:37 pm

If you believe in market timing this is as random and therefore as good (or poor) as any choice. Not for us though, as we don't market time.

malabargold
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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by malabargold » Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:07 pm

The market is almost certainly going to drop over the
next several months, so please do sell!

Accelerate the down trend so my my dividends and
Steady buying will be that much more effective.

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zaboomafoozarg
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Re: Selling in May and Walking Away?

Post by zaboomafoozarg » Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:23 pm

I just sold all my equities today.















(late April Fools! :D)

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