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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Investor Alley => Topic started by: MaxRules on January 09, 2016, 09:22:08 AM

Title: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: MaxRules on January 09, 2016, 09:22:08 AM
They say no one can predict the market. I beg to differ. I have successfully invested several times over the past several years right before the market fell out. That's right, I put money in right before the market has a big drop for several months. I'd call it (bad) luck but since I don't believe in luck, let's just call it the remarkable ability to find market high points. I'll be low on money to invest the whole time I'd love to be able to put some in, then I'll get some extra income from a good sale/windfall, put the money in, and POW the bottom falls out. Is anyone else as skilled in market timing as I am?

<sarcasm off>
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: Retire-Canada on January 09, 2016, 09:29:54 AM
I'm pretty good at it. :)
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: trailrated on January 09, 2016, 10:07:04 AM
They say no one can predict the market. I beg to differ. I have successfully invested several times over the past several years right before the market fell out. That's right, I put money in right before the market has a big drop for several months. I'd call it (bad) luck but since I don't believe in luck, let's just call it the remarkable ability to find market high points. I'll be low on money to invest the whole time I'd love to be able to put some in, then I'll get some extra income from a good sale/windfall, put the money in, and POW the bottom falls out. Is anyone else as skilled in market timing as I am?

<sarcasm off>

Let me know the next time you invest so I can wait two days ;)
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: mohawkbrah on January 09, 2016, 02:24:46 PM
started investing 4 months ago. portfolio now down 11%


y u do dis? :'(
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: WildJager on January 09, 2016, 02:38:12 PM
started investing 4 months ago. portfolio now down 11%


y u do dis? :'(

I started investing right before the 2008 crash.  Had 32k, threw it all in various funds.  Crash subsequently hit and I lost over 50%.

Rode it out though and made plenty more back since then, so I consider it a great lesson in the end. 
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: Indexer on January 09, 2016, 02:57:01 PM
They say no one can predict the market. I beg to differ. I have successfully invested several times over the past several years right before the market fell out. That's right, I put money in right before the market has a big drop for several months. I'd call it (bad) luck but since I don't believe in luck, let's just call it the remarkable ability to find market high points. I'll be low on money to invest the whole time I'd love to be able to put some in, then I'll get some extra income from a good sale/windfall, put the money in, and POW the bottom falls out. Is anyone else as skilled in market timing as I am?

<sarcasm off>

Actually this is very common. A lot of investors think the market acts like the weather. Sometimes it is too stormy to go outside, and sometimes it is clear. As a result they tend to enter the market when everything has been peachy for a few years, and then they bail out when the markets start to look bad.

As a result they buy at the high and sell at the low. Then they blame Wall Street for their misfortunes.

Predicting the market so that you do the opposite, buy at the low, and sell at the high is a bit more tricky. ;)
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: tightwaddy on January 09, 2016, 03:10:18 PM
I'm looking at this as an opportunity for spiritual/emotional growth.  I found MMM about six months ago and, while I've always been pretty frugal, was not doing much with my 403b.  My adviser gave me a quiz, found me super risk averse, and put all my money into bonds years ago and it's languished there, growing at about 2%.  Started reading here, moved 90% into Vanguard equities, added an extra $7K on 12/31 to max out my contribution and ..... that 2% is looking pretty good right now :)

But, I'm looking to feel more comfortable with risk--something about the (not) stolen bike post is making me want to work on my fear of loss.  Getting through this week and whatever comes next will hopefully help me start to reorient myself, maybe even stop prepping for the zombie apocalypse.  Maybe someday I'll take one of those investment personality tests and score on the bold end of the continuum.



Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: MustacheAndaHalf on January 09, 2016, 04:07:32 PM
... I'll get some extra income from a good sale/windfall, put the money in, and POW the bottom falls out.
Normally dollar cost averaging isn't as good as lump sum investing... but in your case, I'd recommend an exception.  Still, you might be overstating "the bottom falls out" if you're referring to last week's 6% market drop.
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: TheNick on January 10, 2016, 12:16:10 AM
I'm probably in the minority here...but I only invest in single stocks, I don't put money into funds, I only invest in companies that pay dividends, and I pick companies that I think will be around long after I'm dead lol.  I simply don't pay much attention to price per share as long as I'm getting my dividends every quarter...the way I look at it is when I buy stock I'm just buying future income...I don't plan on ever touching the principal again.  If stocks drop 30% over the next month and take five years to climb back up to where they are right now all it means to me is I got a little more bang for my buck on my dividend reinvesting.  Of course if things get really bad and dividends start getting cut I'll be crying...but I don't let the short term fluctuations bother me.
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: YogiKitti on January 10, 2016, 04:41:11 AM
I started investing a year ago and have only lost money. I know the market will go up, don't worry, yadda yadda, but it is still a bit disheartening.
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: Chosh on January 10, 2016, 09:09:51 AM
Yep, managed to be down 15% myself :P  March-June of this year wasn't a good time to get into the market
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: TheNick on January 10, 2016, 11:41:14 AM
I started investing a year ago and have only lost money. I know the market will go up, don't worry, yadda yadda, but it is still a bit disheartening.

Just stick with it...once you have a few up years a down year won't bother you so much.  It sucks looking at your account balance when its less than what you started with, but eventually that will turn around and it tends to not bother you so much when "lose" money but are still way ahead of where you'd have been if your money was all hidden under your mattress getting 0%.
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: FIRE47 on January 10, 2016, 04:50:39 PM
Seems to be the case for me too... just started making enough to make some real contributions and have a decent stache last 1-2 years. Gotten smoked. Going to set up auto contribution and a robo account. My lump sum in my 1 of 5-7 funds a few times a year always seems to be into the worst one at the worst time.
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: sisto on January 10, 2016, 05:56:59 PM
They say no one can predict the market. I beg to differ. I have successfully invested several times over the past several years right before the market fell out. That's right, I put money in right before the market has a big drop for several months. I'd call it (bad) luck but since I don't believe in luck, let's just call it the remarkable ability to find market high points. I'll be low on money to invest the whole time I'd love to be able to put some in, then I'll get some extra income from a good sale/windfall, put the money in, and POW the bottom falls out. Is anyone else as skilled in market timing as I am?

<sarcasm off>
I have this exact same skill. All of my investments made this year are way down.
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: shanghaiMMM on January 10, 2016, 09:07:30 PM
Yup, I'm with you on this! Started investing about a year ago. 7% returns my arse :p
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: One Noisy Cat on January 11, 2016, 05:07:03 AM
     Ben Carlson on his A Wealth Of Common Sense blog had a post about a hypothetical man who from 1970 to 2013 who stinks at market timing.  "Bob" sets aside $2,000 a year to invest in a low cost index fund. But He only puts the money he has accumulated in at the four worst peaks: 12/72. 8/87, 12/99, and 10/07. His saving grace is he never takes money out of his S & P 500 fund.
     At the end he has invested $184,000 and has $1,100,000. Not too shabby. Of course if he only DCA he would have $2,300,000. But time, patience and a good strategy are your friends.
http://awealthofcommonsense.com/worlds-worst-market-timer/
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on January 11, 2016, 06:06:31 AM
I'm with you OP!

"Invested" in gold/silver 3 years ago and I am down 35%/65% respectively.

Invested in equities heavily last year and I am down ~8%.

It's been fun constantly being in the red. One day I'll catch a break =D
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: MVal on January 11, 2016, 08:28:22 AM
I'm hoping I'll hit it a little better this year. I decided to front load my 401K this year by contributing the max allowed by my employer per pay period, 80% for the first few pay periods of the year. Hoping this low point rides out until I'm done with that so I can get everything "on sale."
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: Kaspian on January 11, 2016, 11:33:04 AM
One word:  Contrarian.  When everyone (including Mila Kunis!) says, "100% US equities--wha-hoooooo!," you know something's wrong or you've already missed that boat.  "Bonds suck ass!!," probably a good time to buy them.  Rebalancing (on a set schedule) and DCA will force you into contrarian investing.  (Please, no anti-DCA arguments.  Most of us invest each paycheque and not on a giant inheritance windfall for Chrissakes.)

Last year was a weird one--it seemed the market was up every two weeks and down every other.  Unfortunately, for the most part, my auto-buy transactions were the up ones. 
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: BFGirl on January 11, 2016, 01:50:59 PM
Same here.  Was going to do a CD ladder; research convinced me that I needed equities.  Have very conservative mix of equities and bonds.  Started investing Aug 2014 and am down.  That 1-2% I could have made on  CD's looks good about now :)  But I'm hanging in there for now...
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: Jack on January 11, 2016, 02:07:00 PM
Quote from: Warren Buffet
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.

I'm no market-timer, but I sense quite a bit of fear centered on China (which spills over into emerging markets, and international funds in general). I must admit, it makes me feel greedy.
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: capitalninja on January 11, 2016, 02:13:43 PM
Just keep investing on a regular basis.

I regularly buy a combination of index funds and a handful of single stocks (for sector balancing). This allows me to make headway in market downturns on 2 levels (when I deploy new capital and when dividends reinvest). For my investment philosophy, the company/fund MUST pay a dividend or I'm not interested.

Try to look at each share you purchase as fattening up the goose that will lay golden eggs for the rest of your life. You WANT prices to be low when buying shares just like you probably prefer $1.50 to $3.00 for a gallon of gasoline. For the most part, the underlying fundamentals of the companies encompassing a given index have not changed. Toyota, Ford, GE, JnJ, Samsung, etc all sold the same or more of their product today as they did yesterday.

Use Mr. Market for what he's good for (determining the price of your next security purchase/sale). He's not good for much else.
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: RidinTheAsama on January 11, 2016, 03:40:38 PM
     Ben Carlson on his A Wealth Of Common Sense blog had a post about a hypothetical man who from 1970 to 2013 who stinks at market timing.  "Bob" sets aside $2,000 a year to invest in a low cost index fund. But He only puts the money he has accumulated in at the four worst peaks: 12/72. 8/87, 12/99, and 10/07. His saving grace is he never takes money out of his S & P 500 fund.
     At the end he has invested $184,000 and has $1,100,000. Not too shabby. Of course if he only DCA he would have $2,300,000. But time, patience and a good strategy are your friends.
http://awealthofcommonsense.com/worlds-worst-market-timer/

This is very interesting info, thanks for posting it!
I'm already a firm believer of DCA but I know a few stock market nay-sayers that I am looking forward to sharing this with.
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: One Noisy Cat on January 11, 2016, 03:47:16 PM
     Ben Carlson on his A Wealth Of Common Sense blog had a post about a hypothetical man who from 1970 to 2013 who stinks at market timing.  "Bob" sets aside $2,000 a year to invest in a low cost index fund. But He only puts the money he has accumulated in at the four worst peaks: 12/72. 8/87, 12/99, and 10/07. His saving grace is he never takes money out of his S & P 500 fund.
     At the end he has invested $184,000 and has $1,100,000. Not too shabby. Of course if he only DCA he would have $2,300,000. But time, patience and a good strategy are your friends.
http://awealthofcommonsense.com/worlds-worst-market-timer/

One thing I got wrong is the imaginary investor increased the annual amount by $1,000 each decade ($2,000 in 1970s, $3,000 in 1980s, $4,000 in 1990s, etc).  Which is still pretty realistic and quite possible for many people.

This is very interesting info, thanks for posting it!
I'm already a firm believer of DCA but I know a few stock market nay-sayers that I am looking forward to sharing this with.
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: Jack on January 12, 2016, 10:45:15 AM
I regularly buy a combination of index funds and a handful of single stocks (for sector balancing).

What do you mean by "balancing" between sectors in a way that's different than cap-weighting?
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: Retire-Canada on January 13, 2016, 07:28:15 AM
Head's up! I'll be buying ETFs ~5 Feb 2016. So you would be wise to invest the week before or the week after. There is bound to be a significant dip. ;)
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: GuitarStv on January 13, 2016, 07:33:25 AM
I started investing a year ago and have only lost money. I know the market will go up, don't worry, yadda yadda, but it is still a bit disheartening.

Try starting out in the 2007-2008 time frame.  :P
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: Jon_Snow on January 13, 2016, 07:38:19 AM
I'm probably in the minority here...but I only invest in single stocks, I don't put money into funds, I only invest in companies that pay dividends, and I pick companies that I think will be around long after I'm dead lol.  I simply don't pay much attention to price per share as long as I'm getting my dividends every quarter...the way I look at it is when I buy stock I'm just buying future income...I don't plan on ever touching the principal again.  If stocks drop 30% over the next month and take five years to climb back up to where they are right now all it means to me is I got a little more bang for my buck on my dividend reinvesting.  Of course if things get really bad and dividends start getting cut I'll be crying...but I don't let the short term fluctuations bother me.

Oh yes, THIS. Except I do hold around 20% in ETF's and a few mutual funds.

When the dividends continue to roll in it really makes the ups and downs easier to handle.
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: TheNick on January 13, 2016, 08:53:42 PM
I'm probably in the minority here...but I only invest in single stocks, I don't put money into funds, I only invest in companies that pay dividends, and I pick companies that I think will be around long after I'm dead lol.  I simply don't pay much attention to price per share as long as I'm getting my dividends every quarter...the way I look at it is when I buy stock I'm just buying future income...I don't plan on ever touching the principal again.  If stocks drop 30% over the next month and take five years to climb back up to where they are right now all it means to me is I got a little more bang for my buck on my dividend reinvesting.  Of course if things get really bad and dividends start getting cut I'll be crying...but I don't let the short term fluctuations bother me.

Oh yes, THIS. Except I do hold around 20% in ETF's and a few mutual funds.

When the dividends continue to roll in it really makes the ups and downs easier to handle.

I held one mutual fund when I was younger.  It lost money AND they collected fees from me even though they hadn't done anything but lose my money.  That was the first and last time I've ever put money into an account that wanted to charge me to handle my money.  It feels so much better to lose my own money rather than have someone charge me to lose it for me.  Until they have a fund that will guarantee me an above market return and refund my money if they lose it, I'm not paying those vultures a dime.(and if they had one that made that guarantee I'd probably just think it a scam and avoid it lol.)
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: Rustycage on January 13, 2016, 10:33:07 PM
My first purchase of an Australian Vanguard ETF resulted in a 10% drop in less than a month

Was a good introduction to the imapct of market movements on your investing philosophy/temperament

(My purchases of the Australia Vanguard total US market has been more successful/well timed though: USA! USA! USA!)
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: dragoncar on January 13, 2016, 10:36:38 PM
You can continue to buy at the wrong time as long as you never sell at the wrong time (more simply, never sell)
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: Markywalberg on January 14, 2016, 01:41:45 AM
Well thr problem is most of you are trading (short timeframe 6-18months). Investing is longer term. I also had this problem when i first started to invest and basically since 2014 I thought the market was to high in general and I didn't have an idea of a safe place to park my money while getting a decent return. That's why I bought a townhome and started renting after all expenses I get about 10% a year ROI not a lot but in the end thr property value isn't gonna change much either up or down and rent will fluctuate but even if it gets cut in half 5% ROI which wont be bad in the worst case scenario. I made this investment early 2015 and have been saving ever since waiting for a good time to get into stocks. Im finally starting to see some deals pop out at me. Also a helpful trick is to only buy 1/4 size the position you want to ultimately have. so if stock is $10 a share buy 1/4 the position and if it gets to $9 buy another 1/4 and if it goes to 7.50-8 ish another 1//4 etc.... and if the price goes up after you purchase first 1/4 don't rush to buy more just wait. Worse comes to worse you don't make as much money as you wanted but still make money which is a good problem to have. With this scenario you are rooting for your stock to go lower because you want to buy more but if it goes up that is ok as well
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: Kaspian on January 15, 2016, 09:05:52 AM
Oh, for fuckssakes!!!  Got paid yesterday, put my money into US and Canadian equity indexes to rebalance, and everything's 2% cheaper today!  Yeah, bought on the only "up day" of the whole damn week.  :(

I blame you guys!  Does everyone get paid on a Thursday or something?  My "auto buy" happens every second Monday but my second paycheque (mid-month) I put in an addtional $350 in the stash.  So...  I bet everything will be back up when the auto-buy triggers Monday.  My automatic DCA timing is total shit.
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: wenchsenior on January 15, 2016, 09:31:12 AM
Quote from: Warren Buffet
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.

I'm no market-timer, but I sense quite a bit of fear centered on China (which spills over into emerging markets, and international funds in general). I must admit, it makes me feel greedy.

Same. Every day the market is down I feel the urge to buy like a shopping addict. I know that I should just continue dollar cost averaging as I have for years, because it has worked great for me, but I have enough free cash this week to max my Roth, and I'm REALLY tempted to do so. Maybe I'll just throw a grand in.
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: FerrumB5 on January 15, 2016, 09:35:50 AM
Oh, for fuckssakes!!!  Got paid yesterday, put my money into US and Canadian equity indexes to rebalance, and everything's 2% cheaper today!  Yeah, bought on the only "up day" of the whole damn week.  :(

I blame you guys!  Does everyone get paid on a Thursday or something?  My "auto buy" happens every second Monday but my second paycheque (mid-month) I put in an addtional $350 in the stash.  So...  I bet everything will be back up when the auto-buy triggers Monday.  My automatic DCA timing is total shit.

Yep. Paid every two weeks on Thursdays. 401k contributions - same day.
Auto buy - every 1st of month (small amount for now - big expenses coming)
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: okits on January 20, 2016, 11:14:03 AM
Hurray for me!  The cash I was waiting for cleared and I dumped $10k into investments.  Yesterday.  Mildly irritated but at least I have something to contribute to this thread, now!
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on January 20, 2016, 11:20:22 AM
On the plus side, I'm only down 1% on the $1400 I invested this morning because I didn't get around to it until well after the opening bell.
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: faramund on January 20, 2016, 12:08:24 PM
It also helpful to try to see the long view. I'm another one of these people who buys and holds individual shares (I like high dividend stocks with high ROEs, but I also have a small amount in index funds so I can compare how I'm going).

I also track the average year I bought each stock, and so I can see things like, the stocks I bought in
2008 they've grown on average at 10% a year. In face, the ones bought in 2010,2011 are also above 10%, 2014 is just above 20%. I do have poorer years, 2013 is only 6%, and 2009, 2012 and 2015 are negative, but they should all become positive even if the market is flat - with about 2 years of dividends. (I haven't bought any shares, on average in 2016, YET)

A couple of months ago, all those number were all slightly higher. So once you've bought and held shares for a while, these ups and downs are comparatively small. The most potentially painful time is just after you've bought a share. Given time, dividends, and usually also with some eventual growth of the economy, a diversified group of shares will usually turn out well.
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: StockBeard on January 20, 2016, 12:51:52 PM
Head's up! I'll be buying ETFs ~5 Feb 2016. So you would be wise to invest the week before or the week after. There is bound to be a significant dip. ;)
Ha. Replying just so I can see if you're "right" (in a wrong way) this time too.
I was planning to buy roughly at the same date but now you got the superstitious guy in me wondering. I'll buy on Feb 7th
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: Apples on January 20, 2016, 01:20:48 PM
Last April I finally had enough in my Roth account to get Admiral shares of the Vanguard International fund.  I was so excited.  DH puts his monthly contribution into his VTSAX while I put mine into the International fund.  I put in $200-$300/month and it still goes down in value almost every month.  It's officially worth 75% of what I've contributed.  I'm young and was still in h.s. for the 2008 crash, so this is my first taste of consistently losing money in the stock market.  It's also the first time that over a year I've lost more than I put in.  So this it what it feels like?!  I feel your pain OP.
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: FLBiker on January 20, 2016, 02:16:54 PM
To all the relatively new investors posting here.  Don't worry about it.

I'm 39.  Not really an old timer, but I started investing in mutual funds in jr. high.  I first started investing in individual stocks in the mid-late 90's.  One of my first jobs post-college was writing for an investment newsletter.  I consumed investment news voraciously.  I watched the tickers at the bottom of the screen.  It was very exciting.  Then the tech bubble burst.

I learned my lesson, read some books, and moved to index funds.  Other than rebalancing, I never think about it.  I invest every two weeks (403b, 457) when I get paid, plus my annual IRA.  Before coming to MMM today, I had no idea the markets were doing anything in particular (I've got ~$400K invested, it was over $450 not too long ago).  It's great.  Worrying about every market move is crazy making.

Although now that I know the markets are down, maybe it's time to get on my 2016 IRA contribution...
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: StockBeard on February 05, 2016, 10:32:36 AM
Hey Retire-Canada, today's the 5th. I'm sticking to my word and will buy next week instead of today :)
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: Inaya on February 05, 2016, 02:40:48 PM
I started at my current company in Sept 2014 and had enough income, for the first time ever, to do more than get the match. I gotta say, if it's any consolation, I have NEVER seen anything but losses on my poor, abused 401k. I know it's short term, look at the long view, etc. But seeing that line chart with nothing but red is so distressing to my heart, even though my head knows it'll be fine.

Fortunately, my Roth IRA investments, while small, are doing a bit better. Losses there as well, but enough gains to be slightly above water.
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: Retire-Canada on February 05, 2016, 03:13:07 PM
Hey Retire-Canada, today's the 5th. I'm sticking to my word and will buy next week instead of today :)

Good move I bought today. It was awesome a couple days ago and should be awesome next week. ;)
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: meghan88 on February 05, 2016, 05:47:28 PM
OP and others, I too share this great gift for market timing.  I have a good job and I'm able to save a lot of my pay every year through total badassity - biking to work in Canada in all seasons, being a non-consumer except for food.  I work hard for my income so it's heartbreaking to see it flatline and - in too many cases - tank.  At this rate, how can I hope to FIRE with flat-to-negative returns?

Have I had any winners?  The answer is:  one.  A mutual fund that I've held since 2000 has returned 80% on the original investment, meaning that over 16 years I've averaged out 5% a year on it (initial investment of 12K is now 21K).

The rest?  Break-even or less, meaning that I don't even keep pace with inflation.  And yes, I buy things and hold them long term - sometimes too long term.  I've lost big on stocks, bonds and even real estate, all on "expert" advice that I was paying for.

And when I tell anyone that I have a savings account that bears 1.75%/year interest, they laugh at me for keeping some savings there because after taxes, that doesn't keep pace with inflation either.

Well ya, but at least I'm not losing that money hand over fist like I do with other stuff?

I have several mutual funds where the MER is over 2%/year ... net cost for all management fees is 8K/yr.  I dumped my second lousy financial advisor (had two advisors over 20 years) so now I'm going it alone.  Scared to get out of the mutual funds which have netted about 1 to 3%/yr for the average ones, and 5%/yr for the one good one I have.  If those sound like "wins", they're not, when averaged against the crap that tanked beyond belief. 

So I'm trying to get out of the mutual funds and into ETFs, but I have all of my TFSA with a low-cost robo-advisor since transferring it in last August, and it's down by 1K since then, despite "averaging down" with this year's max contribution of 5.5K in mid-January.  And a Vanguard ETF I bought in mid-January is now down 1K in less than a month, so I can lose more money faster on my own than with the robo-advisor.  Ugh.

I am not into conspiracy theories usually, but I think the cards are stacked against savers.  I think we're all chumps.  I wonder what the future holds after waves of cash flow into and out of ETFs (thinking that the more cash flows into the market through ETFs, the smaller the pool of active (meaning, "I did my homework and this is a great buy") investors there are to make a difference - I think that this can only result in greater volatility.  A stash of gold coins under the mattress is starting to look pretty good.

Trusting my nest egg to a financial advisor hasn't worked - I've taken advice, stayed the course, spoke up when I thought I needed to and actually managed to stem some losses as a result.  But I totally suck at going it alone.

I can make money.

I can save money.

And that's about it, so I guess I have to be happy about that.

Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: Retire-Canada on February 05, 2016, 06:20:57 PM
At this rate, how can I hope to FIRE with flat-to-negative returns?

Well you can keep investing while prices are lower and take advantage of the discount. Do you want to be buying the same stocks at higher prices? If so just horde cash and wait for the prices to go up. ;)

I'd suggest reading this to cheer you up ----->  http://jlcollinsnh.com/stock-series/

Specifically this ---->  http://jlcollinsnh.com/2012/04/19/stocks-part-ii-the-market-always-goes-up/
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: meghan88 on February 05, 2016, 06:50:03 PM
Hi Retire-Canada, and thank you!  Why, yes of course I wish to purchase deer and sell sheep!  That's what I do best :)

With brilliant 20/20 hindsight, I should've ignored the noise that Canada will continue down down down.  So I bought VXC instead of XIC.  But had I bought XIC, it would've gone the other way.  My new-found power to buoy the Canadian markets and inflict pain and loss on global markets at the same time, even though oil and commodities haven't really moved, by the simple act of investing my money in the wrong thing, is amazing.

Forecasts are still doom-and-gloom for commodities, which means they are likely on the way up, unless I risk my savings in XIC or VCN, in which case, those will tank as well.

An old acquaintance once said "the best lessons in life are always the most expensive."  So I am doomed to keep learning the very best lessons in life, repeatedly.

If it's helpful to others, I too will post what I'm planning on buying if it will help others avoid making the same mistakes ...
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: Cougar on February 05, 2016, 08:28:00 PM

well, it looks like most responses here really have no idea,

yes, you cannot time the market; but when the entire world economy is slowing; why you are risking your financial market invested assets; I do not know.

yes, do keep putting money away every paycheck, month or however you add regularly but if you have a substantial amount, like over even 50k; limiting mkt exposure when macro economis say the economy is slowing or enterting a recession; I do not understand; you should be separating them into mostly cash.money markets/bonds with little stock/equity exposure.

so, you sit out this year until you see reports that wages are increasing, retail sales are increasing and mortage loan defaults are increasing and housing prices are rising and you lost ? mybe 10% of the bottom, it beats the ride down imo.

please think about it as time lost for capital appreciation. if you got out at 10% down and the avg recession is 28% down; you will have over 15% more on the ride back up than you would hade lost if you had taken the ride down that most everyone else does and you will have to take the additional time to get back to even.

a fact:
95% of the time, mkts are recovering from previous loses and only spend 5% making new highs.

how much do you wish to give bacj to wait and recover ? my post is coming up shortly to give advice on where we are in the mkt.
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: PhysicianOnFIRE on February 05, 2016, 10:02:50 PM
I tax loss harvested at the trough in January!  Locked in some serious losses!  PoF, FTW!
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: Retire-Canada on February 06, 2016, 06:10:15 AM

well, it looks like most responses here really have no idea,

You've posted this exact same thing before and didn't get anyone to agree with you. The consensus I read is that you have no clue.

Worst case:http://awealthofcommonsense.com/worlds-worst-market-timer/
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: ender on February 06, 2016, 07:47:27 AM
a fact:
95% of the time, mkts are recovering from previous loses and only spend 5% making new highs.

citation needed
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: Retire-Canada on February 06, 2016, 07:53:27 AM
a fact:
95% of the time, mkts are recovering from previous loses and only spend 5% making new highs.

citation needed

(http://www.simplestockinvesting.com/images/SP500_real_return.png)

Orange = total returns
Blue = just price
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: ender on February 06, 2016, 08:01:03 AM
a fact:
95% of the time, mkts are recovering from previous loses and only spend 5% making new highs.

citation needed

(http://www.simplestockinvesting.com/images/SP500_real_return.png)

Orange = total returns
Blue = just price

... this seems to 100% refute Cougar's claim (?). And probably would even more compellingly do so if it included dividend reinvestment.

I am assuming you are posting this to refute Cougar -- not provide evidence for that claim?
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: Retire-Canada on February 06, 2016, 08:10:18 AM
a fact:
95% of the time, mkts are recovering from previous loses and only spend 5% making new highs.

citation needed

(http://www.simplestockinvesting.com/images/SP500_real_return.png)

Orange = total returns
Blue = just price

... this seems to 100% refute Cougar's claim (?). And probably would even more compellingly do so if it included dividend reinvestment.

I am assuming you are posting this to refute Cougar -- not provide evidence for that claim?

My goal is neither to refute or support her claim, but to look at the facts as we have them. That's why I did not comment on the chart.

I agree I don't see what she is saying reflected in this data.
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: Bearded Man on February 06, 2016, 08:48:30 AM
I'm maxing my 401k and IRA as well as HSA to get a 28% return on my money in tax savings. I plan on being in a lower tax rate in retirement and not even touching the 401k, it's just a back up plan.
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: faramund on February 06, 2016, 03:06:33 PM

well, it looks like most responses here really have no idea,

yes, you cannot time the market; but when the entire world economy is slowing; why you are risking your financial market invested assets; I do not know.

yes, do keep putting money away every paycheck, month or however you add regularly but if you have a substantial amount, like over even 50k; limiting mkt exposure when macro economis say the economy is slowing or enterting a recession; I do not understand; you should be separating them into mostly cash.money markets/bonds with little stock/equity exposure.

so, you sit out this year until you see reports that wages are increasing, retail sales are increasing and mortage loan defaults are increasing and housing prices are rising and you lost ? mybe 10% of the bottom, it beats the ride down imo.

please think about it as time lost for capital appreciation. if you got out at 10% down and the avg recession is 28% down; you will have over 15% more on the ride back up than you would hade lost if you had taken the ride down that most everyone else does and you will have to take the additional time to get back to even.

a fact:
95% of the time, mkts are recovering from previous loses and only spend 5% making new highs.

how much do you wish to give bacj to wait and recover ? my post is coming up shortly to give advice on where we are in the mkt.
I believe the soft version of the efficient market hypothesis. Which is the one that has actually been tested, i.e. markets immediately reflect new information, i.e. market price is the sum of known knowledge.

So at the moment, there is some risk of a slowdown, you're not the only one who thinks that. Prices have already dropped because of that. Some people think it could be a severe slowdown - that's already in there. So is that some people think the economy will grow or even boom.

So who knows, maybe the market is reflecting a probability of 10% severe slowdown, 20% slowdown, 60% stable, 10% boom.

You can only "beat the market" if you're understanding, is better than it. So are you so sure, you're understanding of the probability of a slowdown is so much better than what the market's is.

I would have been more impressed, if about 6 months ago, you posted - markets are going to fall - sell. That would have been a clear case of realizing the market was incorrect, and taking advantage of that. Especially, in retrospect you would have been proved correct.

In summary, I am much more interested in hearing people who are contrary to the general market sense. If they make a good argument, I'll remember them, and if it turns out, I'll pay them more attention in future.

But people who after the market has boomed, say its a good time to buy, or after its crashed, say its a good time to sell. I don't really pay much attention to. By the time they say such things, its too late, and on historical evidence, following what they say, is usually the OPPOSITE of the best cause of action.
Title: Re: I'm an expert at market timing!
Post by: homestead neohio on February 08, 2016, 01:14:49 PM
Head's up! I'll be buying ETFs ~5 Feb 2016. So you would be wise to invest the week before or the week after. There is bound to be a significant dip. ;)
Ha. Replying just so I can see if you're "right" (in a wrong way) this time too.
I was planning to buy roughly at the same date but now you got the superstitious guy in me wondering. I'll buy on Feb 7th

I know this is going to be true of any continuing downward trending market, but funny to see these types of "warnings" and intentional delays in purchasing.  Wololo, you should have waited another day!  Nice additional downward action today...

I recently made some changes from high ER mutual funds to vanguard ETFs.  I theoretically don't believe in trying to time the market, but I did hold the cash between the sale and purchases for between 1 and 3 weeks.  I set buy limit prices at lows of mid-January and bought ETF shares at a few % discount over their prices at the time I sold the mutual funds.  That was as much as I could stomach being out of the market.  I freely admit I have no idea which way it is going, and when market prices went up as oil went from $26 to $34, I wondered if I was missing a reversal.  The last two limits hit today and I'm back to fully invested, which is a relief.  It was an emotional roller coaster trying to eek out that extra 1-2% discount, and I wondered if I was doing the "right" thing.   I was gambling and got lucky.  It was a big chunk of my 'stache and trimming losses 1-2% means something, but it was also at a higher risk of remaining un-invested while a rally leaves my limit orders in the dust.  Most of these ETFs have continued to drop and I could have purchased more at lower prices, but no way to know that!  I'm glad I wasn't on the sidelines.  Not sure I would that again.

Like many here in the accumulation phase, I look at the dips as buying opportunities.  I try to scrounge up extra cash by delaying non-essential purchases, selling stuff I don't need, or increasing my 401k contribution rate.  I fully funded my 2015 and 2016 IRA in January.  I'm not going to be accessing ANY of this money for >6 years and the bulk of this money will not be needed for decades.  Long term, failing to invest is what will prevent gains that enable me to FIRE.  Investing at the highs, holding through the lows will not be a problem.  The reality is I'm buying at every price along the continuum.

I track both investable asset net worth and savings rate monthly.  When net worth decreases month over month despite investing more, I try to focus on savings rate.