Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

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bighatnohorse
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Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by bighatnohorse »

I have a lot of thoughts and questions about the investment implications of October.

Am I right in thinking that investors begin taking profits before the year end?
How does the October market typically react in an election year, such as this one, when political parties and tax laws might change?

Will Bogleheads make an exception to the rule of "stay the course" this October?
(And permitting one more question, do you conform to the Boglehead investment philosophy by 100% , 80%, 50% in times of uncertainty?)
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by jebmke »

I try to avoid taking profits whenever possible. Taxes.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
sailaway
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by sailaway »

I only take profits when I need them, and even then, I will take a loss if there is one available.

Investopedia tells me "Surprisingly, October has historically heralded the end of more bear markets than the beginning. "
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by bottlecap »

I never do anything in October before first checking with my astrologer.

JT
medic
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by medic »

i think profit taking has already started. This year will likely continue to be volatile with a lot of non-traditional factors - election, covid, fed buying equities, china dumping treasuries, softbank driving huge options volume, etc. Does that mean up or down? Answer is probably yes.
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Months don’t determine when to take profits. When you need money, you sell.
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wolf359
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by wolf359 »

If there was a predictable pattern to stock market crashes, and enough people took appropriate countermeasures, then either the crash would occur early or not at all, making the prediction inaccurate.

You're mixing up the October seasonal timing effect and the election year effect. The election occurs in November. If the parties change in November, the new President doesn't become President until January. In addition, it takes time for Congress to pass laws. I

n 2016, the market was climbing all year as people expected Clinton to win, and dropped whenever Trump started closing the gap. This implied to me that a Trump victory was bearish. Obviously, this was wrong. When Trump won in a surprise result, the market initially dropped, then started heading back up more strongly than when a Clinton victory seemed imminent. The lesson to me: I can't predict the market.

You need to be prepared for a crash at all times.

If you are not comfortable with your asset allocation, the best time to correct that is when the market is up. If your stock allocation has grown out of whack due to the rising market, it is a reasonable time to rebalance to get back to your comfort zone.

But timing the market is a fool's errand.

Back in February, some people correctly predicted the market on this board and got out a month before the crash. But most did not predict the rapid market recovery occurring simultaneously with massive unemployment and an economic collapse. There are still people who went completely to cash who are still in cash. The lesson to me: Other people can't predict the market, either, even if they're right at first.

If you were comfortable with your asset allocation back in March when the sky was falling and the bottom was not in sight, then I'd suggest leaving well enough alone. If you weren't, then adjust your AA for that reason, and stick to it, even if the market climbs further.

- This is an election year. Markets traditionally climb in an election year.

- October is coming. Big crashes have happened in October. (But look at this table of big daily market drops and note that there's nothing special about October: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_l ... al_Average)

- There is a global pandemic that is affecting the global economy. Unemployment is at Depression levels. Government debt is soaring due to reduced tax revenues and increased spending to address the pandemic.

- There is civil unrest. I'm not commenting further to avoid discussion of politics, but the fact of civil unrest usually creates economic instability and poor market conditions.

- People have been losing trust in the Fed. (Source: https://www.axios.com/federal-reserve-t ... 69772.html) Again, I'm staying away from discussion of politics, but there is a potential for it to lose its independence. A politicized Fed is not a good thing in the long run. Also, the Fed may be reaching the limits of its ability to influence events -- there's no longer room to drop rates other than going negative, and the Fed has already entered the bond market.

- The economy is diverging. Most of the unemployment is in lower income jobs, particularly hospitality, travel, and entertainment. Spending is down and saving rates are up. Those with jobs are saving more.

- The emergency stimulus payments have ended. Most of those went straight back into the economy as spending.

- The rental market is starting to face mass evictions. This is a complex issue with no easy solution until jobs return. Deferring the evictions doesn't solve the problem, and might force landlords who have to meet a mortgage to go bankrupt. Unemployment is causing people to be unable to meet rent. Homelessness may increase the spread of Covid, making the recovery take longer.

Some of these factors are bullish and some are bearish. Which will predominate?

I have no idea. Solution: Pick an asset allocation that you can live with in either case, and just hold on tight.
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by jebmke »

wolf359 wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:50 am Back in February, some people correctly predicted the market on this board and got out a month before the crash.
To your point, I wonder how many of these were just luck. How many prior crashes/corrections did they predict that never happened? Were they also successful predicting the ones that did happen before (2018, 2008, 2000, 1987 ....). And how successful were they predicting when to re-enter?
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by Sandtrap »

Retired.
Withdraw as needed per IPS and only what is needed.

What is the significance of October?

j :happy
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Hockey10
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by Hockey10 »

My calendar says that today is September 8.
BogleMelon
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by BogleMelon »

I take profit in some months, but October is not one of them. Neither March, November, May, January, September, July, December, June, February, April or August :D
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MotoTrojan
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by MotoTrojan »

There is nothing special about October. These sorts of sayings are likely propaganda from brokerages trying to get people to trade as that is how they make a living.
Normchad
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by Normchad »

MotoTrojan wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:31 am There is nothing special about October. These sorts of sayings are likely propaganda from brokerages trying to get people to trade as that is how they make a living.
It feels like when bad things happen, they happen in October. But I think that’s just a feeling, not a reliable predictor of gloom.

I do stay the course, and most Octobers are fine. But when they’re not, I curse myself for not preemptively doing something.

Who knows though, the market may go up 5% in October. If you sell now, how would you feel about buying back in at a higher level?

If you want to feel like you’re doing something, check to see if it’s time to rebalance.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by JoeRetire »

bighatnohorse wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:50 am I have a lot of thoughts and questions about the investment implications of October.
It's September.
Am I right in thinking that investors begin taking profits before the year end?
As with anything, some do and some don't.
How does the October market typically react in an election year, such as this one, when political parties and tax laws might change?
There is no "typically". Don't expect the market to react strongly one way or the other, solely due to this being an election year.
Will Bogleheads make an exception to the rule of "stay the course" this October?
I'm not planning to do anything special. You of course are free to do whatever you choose.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
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Random Musings
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by Random Musings »

Some people take daylights saving time too far.

Plus, should never be late for any appointments.

RM
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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

In some stock markets, the Mark Twain effect is the phenomenon of stock returns in October being lower than in other months.[1] The name comes from a line in Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson: "October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February."[2]

The quotation is a sarcastic assertion that speculation in stocks is always dangerous. The fact that Twain specifically picks out October initially is taken as a reference to an "October effect", as exemplified by the 1929, 1987 and 2008 stock market crashes which roughly occurred in October.

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Twain_effect
stop playing with your money. it's hazardous to your financial health.

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rebalancing is not speculating, by the way. if you're talking about rebalancing though, that should be based on your IPS which would include rebalancing bands. Do you actually have an IPS? If not, why not?
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celia
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by celia »

wolf359 wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:50 am - October is coming. Big crashes have happened in October. (But look at this table of big daily market drops and note that there's nothing special about October: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_l ... al_Average)
Why are you looking at point drops instead of percentages? Because the market tends to go higher over time, the biggest point drops have to be more recent, by definition. (The markets can easily drop 1,000 points now when it was impossible when the markets were in a range from 1-999.)

Looking at the referenced wikipedia page, it certainly looks to me that October accounts for more than its share of large percentage drops (see first pink chart). Nine out of the 20 largest percentages drops happened in October. That is almost 50%.

- There is civil unrest. I'm not commenting further to avoid discussion of politics, but the fact of civil unrest usually creates economic instability and poor market conditions.
Why do you say "civil unrest usually creates economic instability" when it could easily be the other way around (economic instability usually creates civil unrest). I think it is better to say they may be correlated.
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by CyclingDuo »

bighatnohorse wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:50 am I have a lot of thoughts and questions about the investment implications of October.

Am I right in thinking that investors begin taking profits before the year end?
How does the October market typically react in an election year, such as this one, when political parties and tax laws might change?

Will Bogleheads make an exception to the rule of "stay the course" this October?
(And permitting one more question, do you conform to the Boglehead investment philosophy by 100% , 80%, 50% in times of uncertainty?)
Dude. Are you serious?

Turn off the news. Walk the dog. Eat some food. Get some exercise. Spend time discussing life with your partner. Call the kids and see how they are doing. Turn in your project a week or two early to stun your boss. Change the oil in your car. Watch the sun rise and set. And on and on as you enjoy this journey called life.

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Tom_T
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by Tom_T »

September is the new October.
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The Electrician
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by The Electrician »

bottlecap wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:04 am I never do anything in October before first checking with my astrologer.

JT
(I'm paraphrasing somebody):

I'm a Scorpio. Scorpios don't believe in astrology!

:oops:
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Bluce
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by Bluce »

bighatnohorse wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:50 am I have a lot of thoughts and questions about the investment implications of October.

Am I right in thinking that investors begin taking profits before the year end?
How does the October market typically react in an election year, such as this one, when political parties and tax laws might change?

Will Bogleheads make an exception to the rule of "stay the course" this October?
(And permitting one more question, do you conform to the Boglehead investment philosophy by 100% , 80%, 50% in times of uncertainty?)
I have an all-weather asset allocation and aside from minor re-balancing, I just buy and hold and let 'er run.

Been doing that for 30 years and could retire tomorrow and just live off divvies and interest, so no regrets.
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rich126
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by rich126 »

medic wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:22 am i think profit taking has already started. This year will likely continue to be volatile with a lot of non-traditional factors - election, covid, fed buying equities, china dumping treasuries, softbank driving huge options volume, etc. Does that mean up or down? Answer is probably yes.
Yeah, this year has been volatile in many ways. If you don't need the money anytime soon I can understand doing nothing. If you may need the money or think you are likely to panic in the midst of a down turn then cutting back on stocks is ok IMO. I think it is better to sell too soon in many cases than wait, see the market drop 15-20%, panic and sell and then wait until it rises and buy back in. Selling too soon allows some people to be calmer and then buy in during corrections.

Of course some would argue the correction may not occur and you are watching a rising market and losing out. Hindsight is always best :)
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by Kenkat »

Hockey10 wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:24 am My calendar says that today is September 8.
If you think about it though, that’s really just negative 22nd of October. Or would it be negative 23rd? :wink:
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by sailaway »

I wonder how one would do by being faithful to the Old Wives' Tales IPS.

I know you sell in May, and again for October, but when do you buy?
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by cheese_breath »

October and eleven other months are the best time to take profits.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.
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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

you know, I just realized...

It's NOT October again.

It's September.

Thought for a moment I lost a month there.

Time's flying in this time of pandemic, but we just started September, not October.

Did you time travel or wake from a coma?
It's "Stay" the course, not Stray the Course. Buy and Hold works. You should really try it sometime. Get a plan: www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Investment_policy_statement
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by h82goslw »

bighatnohorse wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:50 am I have a lot of thoughts and questions about the investment implications of October.

Am I right in thinking that investors begin taking profits before the year end?
How does the October market typically react in an election year, such as this one, when political parties and tax laws might change?

Will Bogleheads make an exception to the rule of "stay the course" this October?
(And permitting one more question, do you conform to the Boglehead investment philosophy by 100% , 80%, 50% in times of uncertainty?)
Just out of curiosity.....you've been a member of this forum for 4 years with over 300 posts so I'd assume you're pretty familiar with how most people roll here. Why would you ask this question if the vast majority buy and hold for the long term? Asking for a friend :D
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by tibbitts »

Normchad wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:45 am Who knows though, the market may go up 5% in October. If you sell now, how would you feel about buying back in at a higher level?
I would hope that nobody who sells now would fail to wait for a lower point to buy back in.
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by Ferdinand2014 »

I do not understand your question. It is September and I do not understand what October has to do with taking profits. Do you need the profits for an expense? If not, why would you use a calendar to take profits?
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by Candor »

If we are going to skip September maybe we should just jump right to 2021. It's kind of been one of those years.
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by tibbitts »

Ferdinand2014 wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:02 pm I do not understand your question. It is September and I do not understand what October has to do with taking profits. Do you need the profits for an expense? If not, why would you use a calendar to take profits?
Although I don't endorse the idea, you might research "seasonality."
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by Rowan Oak »

bighatnohorse wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:50 am I have a lot of thoughts and questions about the investment implications of October.
There are no "investment implications of October".
bighatnohorse wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:50 am Am I right in thinking that investors begin taking profits before the year end?
No.
bighatnohorse wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:50 am How does the October market typically react in an election year, such as this one, when political parties and tax laws might change?
No one knows.
bighatnohorse wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:50 am Will Bogleheads make an exception to the rule of "stay the course" this October?
No.
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Teague
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by Teague »

Let's see, how does it go?

Sell in May and go away.

Sell in October and, umm, get #*ked over? :shock:
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by h82goslw »

Teague wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:18 pm Let's see, how does it go?

Sell in May and go away.

Sell in October and, umm, get #*ked over? :shock:

:D :D
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by cheese_breath »

Teague wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:18 pm Let's see, how does it go?

Sell in May and go away.

Sell in October and, umm, get #*ked over? :shock:
Definitely, if you're not back in before the Santa Clause rally. :confused
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by dru808 »

No change for me, steady weekly contributions like a good boglehead.
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by Stinky »

The title of this thread is causing me some problems. Every time I scroll down the list of "active topics", I come across the reminder "Well, it's October again...."

I pause, and momentarily panic while I wonder if senility is creeping up on me. Or maybe I went on a month-long bender.

Then realize that it's that same old darned thread that is asking what folks plan to do with their investments in October.

I hope that people stop responding to this thread, so it will not rise to the top of the "active topics".

(Darn it, I just bumped the thread :oops: :oops: :oops: )
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by z3r0c00l »

Take profits and then what? When do I get back in?
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by Bluce »

z3r0c00l wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:39 am Take profits and then what? When do I get back in?
Here's the big secret that only Warren and I know. Please don't tell anyone else or it'll quit working.

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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by minesweep »

September is historically the worst month of the year for the stock market.
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by ML 59 »

OP,

If your question is serious, then you are a perfect example of someone that needs a written long range plan; an Investment Policy Statement. This will help you stay the course when you hear all of those silly catchphrases.

Besides, I always thought that it was: "Sell in September"

:happy
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by wootwoot »

It's still September.
wolf359
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by wolf359 »

Geez, the OP obviously meant that October is approaching again, but didn't word it that way. If you believe in seasonality, then the time to take profits is BEFORE the anticipated crash, not after.

Let it go already, and focus on the issue that market timing in this way isn't a very good strategy. You're getting tripped up on the language. Let's focus on what the OP was actually asking and help him out.
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by Chrono Triggered »

bighatnohorse wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:50 am How does the October market typically react in an election year, such as this one, when political parties and tax laws might change?
It's usually a nothing burger.
https://www.capitalgroup.com/advisor/in ... -year.html
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by CyclingDuo »

Chrono Triggered wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:58 am
bighatnohorse wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:50 am How does the October market typically react in an election year, such as this one, when political parties and tax laws might change?
It's usually a nothing burger.
https://www.capitalgroup.com/advisor/in ... -year.html
Shazam! Nice serving of the nothing burger. :beer
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Bluce
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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by Bluce »

CyclingDuo wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:58 pm
Chrono Triggered wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:58 am
bighatnohorse wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:50 am How does the October market typically react in an election year, such as this one, when political parties and tax laws might change?
It's usually a nothing burger.
https://www.capitalgroup.com/advisor/in ... -year.html
Shazam! Nice serving of the nothing burger. :beer
Yum! 8-)

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Re: Well, it's October again - time to take profits?

Post by neverpanic »

Neither the best - nor luckiest - market timers predicted this year's rapid recoveries. There's no shame in that.
I am not a financial professional or guru. I'm a schmuck who got lucky 10 times. Such is the life of the trader.
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