Timing Isn’t Everything December 10, 2019
Over the course of the holidays, it’s not unusual for the stock market to be a topic of conversation at a holiday party or other social gathering. A friend or relative might ask about which investments are good at the moment. The lure of getting into the stock market at the right time or avoiding the next downturn may tempt even disciplined, long-term investors. The reality of successfully timing markets, however, isn’t as straightforward as it sounds.
Outguessing the Market is Difficult
Attempting to buy individual stocks or make tactical asset allocation changes at exactly the “right” time presents investors with substantial challenges. First and foremost, markets are fiercely competitive and adept at processing information. During 2018, a daily average of $462.8 billion in equity trading took place around the world.1 The combined effect of all this buying and selling is that available information, from economic data to investor preferences and so on, is quickly incorporated into market prices. Trying to time the market based on an article from this morning’s newspaper or a segment from financial television? It’s likely that information is already reflected in prices by the time an investor can react to it.
To learn more, download our free issue brief, Timing Isn’t Everything.