Key To Market Timing Profitability
Winning market timers have learned to control their impulses. They can
follow buy and sell market timing signals effortlessly. They show extreme
Rather than give into their urges, they stick with their timing strategy knowing
there will be days when they are in the red, but that over time they will be
profitable and also (importantly), they will never suffer a big loss.
Depending on your personality, you may have difficulty controlling your impulses.
But whether you find discipline easy to control or difficult, there is much that
can be done to ensure you follow your timing strategy.
Regret Comes Later
The most common way market timers act impulsively is by abandoning their timing
Once you decide to follow a specific timing strategy, it is vital to follow it.
But this can be difficult to do. Even though we have years of experience here
at FibTimer, that does not mean we do not have the urge to change a trade.
Those years of experience have not dulled our emotions, but they have taught
us to stick with our timing strategy. Like anyone else, we learned the hard way.
We exited strategies with the best of intentions and with great conviction. We
also lost money almost every time.
It seems easy when you first start following a strategy, but while in the midst
of a bullish or bearish position, it can be hard to stay with it.
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At any given point, you may look at the market action and think, "there's
no way this trade can work."
If you are an extremely seasoned timer, you have the experience
and judgment to stay with the strategy.
|"abandoning a perfectly
good timing strategy... may give you a good feeling for a day
or two, but you will have joined the "herd" of millions of
investors. And overall, the herd loses money."
Novice market timers, in contrast, tend to abandon their plan prematurely, and
regret it later when they find that had they been able to stick it out a little
longer, they would have made a greater profit, or avoided a big loss.
It may be hard, but novice market timers must fight the impulse to exit a position
The Big Picture
The first step to gaining impulse control is to identify the "reasons" you want
to control your impulses... in other words, the downside of abandoning the timing
The obvious reason market timers desire to stay with a strategy is to maximize
profits. The profits on winning trades must compensate for losses on losing trades.
Following a well-defined timing strategy usually insures profitability overall.
You will have an easier time sticking with your plan if you frequently remind
yourself that in the big picture, following the strategy is the key to profitability.
You may even want to write it down on a post-it note and stick it on your screen,
so that while you are struggling to fight an impulse, you'll remember why you
are doing it: The more discipline and self-control you achieve, the more profitability
you'll achieve in the long run.
Fear And Greed
Many times impulses are difficult to control because of emotional states.
The emotions of fear and greed are the two most compelling urges that trick market
timers into abandoning a perfectly good timing strategy. Exiting a timing strategy
may give you a good feeling for a day or two, but you will have joined the "herd," of
millions of investors. And overall, the herd loses money.
By self-monitoring your emotions, you can identify how they lead to impulsive
decisions. By identifying how fear and frustration precede impulsive decisions,
you can control these emotions and remain disciplined.
It takes time to control emotions. Don't give up. Staying with a timing strategy
through a difficult period, and then realizing you have not only beaten the market,
but also your own emotions, is very rewarding.
Staying with a timing strategy for several years, and looking back at the huge
up and down market swings caused by the emotions of investors (the herd) and
realizing that you not only avoided them, but steadily achieved a profit when
most have lost money, is incredibly rewarding.
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Disclaimer: The financial markets are risky. Investing is
risky. Past performance does not guarantee future performance.
The foregoing has been prepared solely for informational
purposes and is not a solicitation, or an offer to buy or
sell any security. Opinions are based on historical research
and data believed reliable, but there is no guarantee that
future results will be profitable.