Action Taken for the Week of February 28th
- Deposited $150.00, giving me $150.48 of available cash in the RRSP.
At the time of writing, the net equity in my account is $1771.02. I’ve contributed $1750.00 in total to the RRSP. I’m up $21.01 so far. $2.10 of that is from a ZPR dividend payment received in early February.
The Canadian market has gone up six months straight. The U.S. market has gone up four months straight. On top of that, the trading volume has declined – a sign of the market running out of the steam needed to keep going straight up. There is nothing I would love more than for the market to have a little correction – that is, a little selloff – before going up again for another leg. I would feel more confident in making a new trade if this happened.
Market timing means timing your trade entries and exits with the stock market moves. It’s more of a shorter-term strategy. When the market is on its way up, you buy. When it begins its move down, you sell.
A lot of people rag on market timing and its futility. I don’t blame them. It’s not easy to estimate and it’s impossible to be right and exact all the time. On CNBC, the analysts and traders always goad each other into making short and long-term predictions and when one is right over the other, they really rub it in! It’s pretty entertaining. It doesn’t really matter because, in the long run (we’re talking years), the stock market generally goes up as it has historically for decades upon decades. Why is this so?
Investors, by nature, are optimistic. You invest because you believe there’s a decent chance you’re going to make money. When optimism shifts to pessimism (due to recessions, world events, interest rate hikes, etc.), investors sell to take their profits or reduce their exposure during a downturn, or as in my case, hold off on making new investments.
So what happens if your market timing is off? Well, if you bought at the height of action before a turnaround, you’ll just have to wait until you’re back in the positive. No matter what, don’t panic. These downturns are more temporary in nature.
There are ways to be impacted less by market timing. The general goal is that over the course of your life as an investor, you’re accumulating assets and creating a diverse portfolio. If your portfolio is diverse enough, a part of it should be performing better than the other part of it during a market dip. When the market is strong again, most of your assets should be doing well. Then, you’ll eventually get rid of the ones that don’t meet your minimum expectations regardless the market and sector. After years go by, you’ll be beyond caring about market timing as most sound securities pass the test of time and should increase in value.
Why do I care about market timing? I simply prefer to take positions at the start of the uptrend. I learned to look for signs that a trend might be tiring out and if I do enter a trade, it’s with fewer shares and moderate expectations. I watch the market enough that I’m able to pay attention to where I’m positioning myself within the trend (at the beginning, mid-trend, near a top).
Before taking another position for the RRSP, I’m going to hold off until later in the month to see if there will be a correction, or if the market will take a bit of a breather that will be more apparent on the shorter time frame of the weekly chart. The only way I’d break this commitment is if I saw a perfect setup (to-die-for charts on all time frames, volume action, sector making a new move, and the market had sold off, yet the stock wasn’t affected).
This is actually a good time to look for stocks in the middle of setting up. That way, I’ll be ready with options when the timing is better.