Market Timing: Opportunities and Risks
19 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2017
Date Written: November 2016
Asset allocation decisions, particularly those involving market timing, create both opportunities and pitfalls for investors. In the aftermath of the crash of October 1987, many investors sought protection of capital through market timing or tactical asset allocation strategies. Since then, the popularity of tactical asset allocation has increased both for professional investment managers and individual investors alike.
In this paper, I explore opportunities for enhancing returns using tactical asset allocation and market timing, as well as the challenges posed by market timing, including higher costs and the risk of missing the best-performing days of the market. I examine whether investors can succeed using tactical asset allocation and market timing strategies and look to behavioral finance concepts to explain why investors continue to embrace market timing in their investment process.
I find that strategic asset allocation was the most important driver of long-term investment success. This is because most market timers typically fail to accurately predict important equity market swings. The long-term odds are not in favor of market timing strategies.
Keywords: market, timing, value, investing, capital, allocation
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