Thursday, January 14, 2010

Is it Possible to Time the Market?

I have always been wondering how good my technical analysis skills are in timing the market.

However, I have come to realise that when I speak about timing the market, I actually have no standard definition to measure my success or failures at timing the market.

If I could put it simplistically, timing the market would mean being able to buy the stock at its lowest and selling at its highest. That is of course a good definition.

However, one faces the problem of the timeframe.

When I buy a stock at say $1.00 and sell it a month later for $1.10, I might be very happy at the profit that I have made which is quite close to 10% return on capital after subtracting the various admin fees and brokerage charges.

However, should the stock rise to $1.20 the next week, does that mean that my timing of the market has failed?

Or let's say that the stock drops to $0.90 the next week, does that on the other hand mean that I am successful at timing the market?

The problem I guess is the time frame. Because if I were to look at the stock price say 1 year later, the price might be up or down compared to my sell price and I would then determine my success on whether my SELL price is above or below the current price of the stock.

So when we say that we can time the market, what do we REALLY mean?

What is the timeframe we are looking at? How do we measure our successes? Do we really keep good records of our trades to see whether a buy and hold strategy might have earned us more money or does our active trading actually earn us more money?


  1. The most money in the least time.

    Some ideas ...

  2. My answer:


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