Is Timing the Market Possible?

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JAFFX2
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Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by JAFFX2 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:50 pm

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/timing-m ... 05483.html
It's just human that many surrender to emotions and attempt and game the framework 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. 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.

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Taylor Larimore
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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by Taylor Larimore » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:59 pm

JAFFX2 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:50 pm
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/timing-m ... 05483.html
It's just human that many surrender to emotions and attempt and game the framework 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. 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.
JAFFX2:

Bogleheads disdain market timing. We know that it seldom works. These experts agree:

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Taylor_ ... ing_quotes

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "After nearly 50 years in this business, I do not know of anybody who has done market timing successfully and consistently. I don't even know anybody who knows anybody who has done it successfully and consistently."
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

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JAFFX2
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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by JAFFX2 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:19 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:59 pm
JAFFX2 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:50 pm
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/timing-m ... 05483.html
It's just human that many surrender to emotions and attempt and game the framework 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. 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.
JAFFX2:

Bogleheads disdain market timing. We know that it seldom works. These experts agree:

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Taylor_ ... ing_quotes

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "After nearly 50 years in this business, I do not know of anybody who has done market timing successfully and consistently. I don't even know anybody who knows anybody who has done it successfully and consistently."
Your response would imply that I myself and the article would disagree and I am not sure how in the world you concluded that.......

"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. Even a slight outperformance probably wouldn't be worth the energy"

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danielc
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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by danielc » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:27 pm

JAFFX2 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:19 pm
Your response would imply that I myself and the article would disagree and I am not sure how in the world you concluded that.......

"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. Even a slight outperformance probably wouldn't be worth the energy"
I don't think Taylor's response implies that.

livesoft
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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by livesoft » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:29 pm

Market timing is a great hobby to have. Note that I did not opine on whether one would make a lot of money with a great hobby.

Around here on bogleheads.org, a lot people think that market timing means perfection. They will say that market timing loses money. Well, guess what, index fund investing loses money sometimes, too. There are other kinds of market timing than just selling all your investments and putting the cash into a CD or into Apple stock.
Last edited by livesoft on Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:31 pm

The article paraphrased: Since you can't market time and beat passive investors, if you can't help yourself and you must market time, do it with a small enough amount of money so that when you lose it all, your retirement money is safe in a passively invested portfolio.

Seems to go right along with Taylor's message, and Jack Bogle's quote.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

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LittleGreenSoldiers
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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by LittleGreenSoldiers » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:39 pm

Yes it is possible. I timed it yesterday.

The New York Stock Exchange to be precise. It was open 23,399.99 seconds.

rasta
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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by rasta » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:11 pm

in the classic sense of being able to precisely pick tops and bottoms, i would agree that market timing is not possible, how could it be
since one is not able to predict the future.

on the other hand, can individual stock pickers who roll their own portfolios beat the market, absolutely.
should everyone try this at home, absolutely not, it requires too much time and effort. most don't have the patience
and skill sets to to be able analyze fundamentals and watch the market.

active investing is a lot like poker, everyone knows how to play the game, but only a small percentage
have the patience, skill and emotional control to beat the game consistently.

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JoeRetire
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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by JoeRetire » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:23 pm

JAFFX2 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:50 pm
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.
So you're telling me there's a chance. YEAH!
Very Stable Genius

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Rowan Oak
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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by Rowan Oak » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:12 pm

JoeRetire wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:23 pm
JAFFX2 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:50 pm
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.
So you're telling me there's a chance. YEAH!
LOL

I read ya
“If you can get good at destroying your own wrong ideas, that is a great gift.” – Charlie Munger

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geerhardusvos
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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by geerhardusvos » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:28 pm

JAFFX2 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:19 pm
Taylor Larimore wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:59 pm
JAFFX2 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:50 pm
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/timing-m ... 05483.html
It's just human that many surrender to emotions and attempt and game the framework 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. 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.
JAFFX2:

Bogleheads disdain market timing. We know that it seldom works. These experts agree:

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Taylor_ ... ing_quotes

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "After nearly 50 years in this business, I do not know of anybody who has done market timing successfully and consistently. I don't even know anybody who knows anybody who has done it successfully and consistently."
Your response would imply that I myself and the article would disagree and I am not sure how in the world you concluded that.......

"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. Even a slight outperformance probably wouldn't be worth the energy"
Relaaaaaax, OP.....

The best market timers are consistently buying the market
VTSAX and chill

Ferdinand2014
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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by Ferdinand2014 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:29 pm

JAFFX2 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:50 pm
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/timing-m ... 05483.html
It's just human that many surrender to emotions and attempt and game the framework 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. 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.
No, it is not possible. I buy FXAIX (Fidelity 500 index) with both hands and a shovel every week and plan to do so for the next 20 years regardless of the market.
“You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.“ — Warren Buffett

vipertom1970
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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by vipertom1970 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:29 am

I have been a market timer for over 25 years with great success. The first of every month my money went into 401k and Roth IRA.

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:30 pm

OP: Do you mean reliably and repeatably generating a higher return than the market as a whole by market timing? We can't prove it's impossible, but the burden of proof is on those who claim they can do it, reliably.

I've never observed that.

What I have observed is paid financial product touts saying What if I told you I could manage your portfolio so it reliably beats the S&P 500?

The proper response is Why? Are you likely to tell me such a thing?

The worst or most desperate ones will answer Yes. The others will mumble a non-answer.

PJW

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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by Unladen_Swallow » Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:06 pm

livesoft wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:29 pm
Market timing is a great hobby to have. Note that I did not opine on whether one would make a lot of money with a great hobby.

Around here on bogleheads.org, a lot people think that market timing means perfection. They will say that market timing loses money. Well, guess what, index fund investing loses money sometimes, too. There are other kinds of market timing than just selling all your investments and putting the cash into a CD or into Apple stock.
I agree with livesoft's take.
"I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong." - Richard Feynman

klrjaa
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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by klrjaa » Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:42 pm

To me the question is not whether you can beat the market, (which you can by using leverage but let's forget that for now) it's can you provide a similar but smoother ride. Who wouldn't want that? I'm betting a bunch of folks responded here without ever even reading the link. A few nits from the article and OBTW the author offers no evidence other than quotes:

"Being that unique investor who has the power to consistently time the market and always make a profit is the dream for most people who trade their own accounts" and "being able to call the top of the market is a skill that many think they possess": Hogwash, real market timers look to take the chunk out of the ride up, and then limit loses on the downside. Frankly this is an insult to the quant community

"Investment emotional triggers (fear and greed) can lead to costly mental mistakes by investors who typically fall into the trap of being a market follower instead of a market leader": Yep but if you have hard and fast buy and sell rules as real market timers have, it ain't real difficult and emotion plays zero role.

"Abandoning the objective to time the tops and bottoms": totally false premise as I described above

"No matter what happens in the stock market, chances are that the stocks you own will eventually come back to their pre - crash value; hanging on to your original positions, or opportunistically averaging down": Sure but you only live one monte carlo instantiation so if you plan on living to 1000 and can withstand to ignore catastrophic drawdowns, go for it. Resolve Asset Management wrote on this subject regarding things essentially becoming a coin flip if not managed properly; folks may want to seek that out

"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. Even a slight out performance 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": with the advent of powerful computing, artificial intelligence, additional statistical model in and out of sample testing, and the fact that most folks have essentially zero retirement savings, this all sounds good maybe in 75 but woefully out of date.

Ok so what's next? Let's establish a baseline for discussion. Many folks are probably aware of Meb Faber and his TAA models. His initial claim to fame is the provided link, which in my mind lags many other timing models, but will serve the purpose for comparison to say a 60% spy/40% bonds. His model hands down beats the 60/40 on every performance measure; higher return, higher shapre, lower drawdown, faster time to recover from drawdowns. All with about 25 trades per year. I took the comparison back as far as Allocate Smartly data provides, which as Bogleheads is more appropriate than shorter term cherry picked performance. faber agg 6 perf is 11.7 cagr vs 10.5, .7 sharpe vs .64, max dd 23.7 vs 29.5, longest dd 23 months vs 40 months. And with a 10k investment 847k vs 543k. The 60/40 would be more tax efficient of course, but there are other TAA non tax efficient strategies besides faber that have returned 6x the 60/40 return with a better set of risk/return metrics.

All can be seen at Allocate Smartly either for free or a subscription which I have, but the point is subscription or not, there are models which prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that Market Timing works

So read this https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm ... _id=962461 and let's continue the discussion. Chicken way out is to say the markets won't be the same, so no TAA model is worth it, and all these other 30 models better than Meb's are a long term flukes, but I'd rather have the 847k-543k in the bank and trust the lower risk profile awarded by TAA. Substantive and data driven responses only thanks

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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by Forester » Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:27 am

Conservative investors are partly why market timing can avoid extreme left tail events. Trend following defends a portfolio against high market valuations. Most Bogleheads have a bias, to dismiss talk of high valuations, and hence lower returns. If one has an allocation to trend following they can shrug their shoulders; maybe the bears are right, maybe the bulls are, but price is king over fundamentals. It may be optimal to mix trend following with buy & hold.

re; Allocate Smartly, firstly many of those models are variations upon each other. And be wary of any system which uses fundamental triggers - this is moving away from portfolio insurance. The price of less whipsaw trades may be system failure if the relationship of the stock market to a particular indicator breaks down.

klrjaa
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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by klrjaa » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:25 am

Forester wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:27 am
Conservative investors are partly why market timing can avoid extreme left tail events. Trend following defends a portfolio against high market valuations. Most Bogleheads have a bias, to dismiss talk of high valuations, and hence lower returns. If one has an allocation to trend following they can shrug their shoulders; maybe the bears are right, maybe the bulls are, but price is king over fundamentals. It may be optimal to mix trend following with buy & hold.

re; Allocate Smartly, firstly many of those models are variations upon each other. And be wary of any system which uses fundamental triggers - this is moving away from portfolio insurance. The price of less whipsaw trades may be system failure if the relationship of the stock market to a particular indicator breaks down.
Hi Forester, re AS the strategies, sure many are variations as the use the same basic ingredients; relative momentum, absolute momentum, market breath, correlation, volatility, moving averages, a set of defined asset ETFs, but they are combined differently to each yield a very different end product. Kinda like combining 10 different foods (eggs, spices, flour, vegetables, etc) and you certainly don't come up with same end dish. One combination makes pizza, another makes pancakes.

Same for the AS strategies; they combine the base data in very different ways. There's not many strategies on the site that are essentially a duplicate of another (a few are pretty much the same), even if the performance curve for fundamentally different strategies winds up looking similar.

Performance can vary wildly too; apples to apples (same staring date of 1970) there is a strategy that returned 38 million bucks on initial 10k vs a 60% spy/40% ief that returned 980K. So long history of comparison. Sharpe is 2x better, max drawdown about half of the 29.5% of the 60/40, longest drawdown is about 20% shorter than 60/40. Average of 11 trades per year.

Would I recommend using it as the only strategy? Not for me as I combine strategies, but I do use it 20%. Someone else they might choose to go for a higher allocation. It's available here https://indexswingtrader.blogspot.com/2 ... asset.html and the base paper can be found at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm ... id=3002624. The real time results are tracked here https://indexswingtrader.blogspot.com/p ... gnals.html. One of the version AS tracks is G4 Top 1, Bad 1, which is the performance numbers I used above.

Point is most folks don't even know strategies like this even exist, and in no way are strategies nearly created equal

Finally, there are only 4 strategies of 54 that use economic data as part of the ruleset, and even these combine price in their ruleset. All others are price based. Thanks

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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by patrick013 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:33 am

Index replacement is all the market timing an index uses. It's like an advisor adjusting his equity holdings once per year. Always being sure the index includes the better companies. The methodology used has been successful especially when real growth and inflation occur. Even when not I would suspect as there are always better companies to put in the index. Using a moving average with say a 10% tunnel on both sides can blend in past market movements pictorily but going forward needs a new paradigm and gives journalists alot to talk about mostly. VG's indexes have the lowest turnover of all index companies. Investors only trade when moving profits to bonds to adjust AA. But that is not market timing that's rebalancing some day. I always sell too soon or wait too long to sell when I market time.
age in bonds, buy-and-hold, 10 year business cycle

klrjaa
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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by klrjaa » Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:40 pm

150 views since post, no takers on my challenge. Thanks
I'd like to see OP thoughts on what I've posted too, thanks

bondsr4me
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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by bondsr4me » Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:04 pm

I guess it’s “possible”.

But....is it “probable”?

I really don’t think it is, at least on a sustaining basis year-in year-out.

Probability is much higher math than my 10 fingers and 10 toes, so I stay away from it.

The amount of time and energy required is much more than I am willing to put into it.

To anyone trying it, I say “Good Luck” to you (not being critical).
I wish you many happy returns.

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Mactheriverrat
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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by Mactheriverrat » Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:29 pm

IHMO

One thing is for sure that every time just when the Unemployment rate starts going up that it isn't long that markets take a dump.
Image
https://stockcharts.com/h-sc/ui?s=%24%2 ... =677204195
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flaccidsteele
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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by flaccidsteele » Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:11 pm

JAFFX2 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:50 pm
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/timing-m ... 05483.html
It's just human that many surrender to emotions and attempt and game the framework 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. 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.
I increase buying during downturns

That’s timing the market

No prediction necessary

lkar
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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by lkar » Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:20 pm

I think there's a significant question whether the answer to this question will forever be the same. I think the smart investor must pay attention and test their assumptions. Not, like, daily, but maybe every few years.

We don't know what the world looks like when passive investing is the majority or plurality of investment styles, and I think we all -- bogleheads included -- would do well to keep track of it and to figure out whether it leads to conditions or manager predictability effects that create market inefficiencies in the future. Then again, even if does, we'll all be among the last to know.

But in terms of the answer right now? Well, we're not nearly there yet.
Mactheriverrat wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:29 pm
IHMO

One thing is for sure that every time just when the Unemployment rate starts going up that it isn't long that markets take a dump.
Image
https://stockcharts.com/h-sc/ui?s=%24%2 ... =677204195
I'm not really sure what I'm looking at here, but it seems to me I've got a sample size of 4? If a sample size of 4 makes you comfortable, it's your money.

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Mactheriverrat
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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by Mactheriverrat » Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:57 pm

lkar wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:20 pm
I think there's a significant question whether the answer to this question will forever be the same. I think the smart investor must pay attention and test their assumptions. Not, like, daily, but maybe every few years.

We don't know what the world looks like when passive investing is the majority or plurality of investment styles, and I think we all -- bogleheads included -- would do well to keep track of it and to figure out whether it leads to conditions or manager predictability effects that create market inefficiencies in the future. Then again, even if does, we'll all be among the last to know.

But in terms of the answer right now? Well, we're not nearly there yet.
Mactheriverrat wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:29 pm
IHMO

One thing is for sure that every time just when the Unemployment rate starts going up that it isn't long that markets take a dump.
Image
https://stockcharts.com/h-sc/ui?s=%24%2 ... =677204195
I'm not really sure what I'm looking at here, but it seems to me I've got a sample size of 4? If a sample size of 4 makes you comfortable, it's your money.
Your seeing the Unemployment rate and the 12 day moving average. When the 12 day moving average starts going up then it means the markets are fixing to take a dump.
Everything evolves. | May Every Sunrise Bring You Hope. May Every Sunset Bring you Peace.

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:16 pm

lkar wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:20 pm
I think there's a significant question whether the answer to this question will forever be the same. I think the smart investor must pay attention and test their assumptions. Not, like, daily, but maybe every few years.

We don't know what the world looks like when passive investing is the majority or plurality of investment styles, and I think we all -- bogleheads included -- would do well to keep track of it and to figure out whether it leads to conditions or manager predictability effects that create market inefficiencies in the future. Then again, even if does, we'll all be among the last to know.

But in terms of the answer right now? Well, we're not nearly there yet.
...
What if everybody indexed?

PJW

averagedude
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Re: Is Timing the Market Possible?

Post by averagedude » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:26 pm

Timing the market is very possible. Really it can be close to a coin flip in being successful in getting out of the market near the top. The problem is you have to be right twice because you have to get back in. This makes it very difficult, and very unlikely. Selling is the easy part. Getting back in is hard.

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