Requirements For The Position
Have you ever wondered what the job requirements would be for the position of "Market Timer?" Assuming such a position existed, would you be qualified for it?
Such requirements would obviously be the same as those needed for anyone to successfully time the markets.
Let's see... what would the ad look like?
"MARKET TIMER NEEDED"
Candidates must be able to go against the prevailing opinion.
Candidates must be able to take a bullish position when everyone is bearish, and take a bearish position when everyone is bullish.
Candidates must be independent and self-assured. They don't worry about how they are doing compared with other investors.
Candidates must be able to accept that sometimes their investments will underperform the market, knowing that over time, they will outperform the market.
Candidates must be able to accept that their timing will require them to make trades that may seem like mistakes, and a string of small losses won't drive them up the wall.
Candidates must be able to adopt a strategy for the long haul and stick with it, even when at times it is discouraging.
Candidates must be able to able to obey buy and sell signals, which often are issued against the prevailing sentiment.
Candidates must be able to ignore the mass media, which raise emotions and thus increase the risk of not executing a trade. It is often the trade that is hardest to take, that winds up being the most profitable.
Candidates must be decisive and willing to move at a moment's notice, without second-guessing, when a timing system calls for buying or selling.
Candidates must be willing to pay attention to their investments every business day without fail.
What Each And Every One Of Us Face
Okay.... maybe it is not a job that we would see advertised anywhere. But the job requirements tell us a great deal about what each and every one of us face as market timers.
Market timers face a constant psychological battle. Prevailing sentiment, not to mention our next door neighbor, is constantly telling us to cave in and go with the majority. There is comfort in following the majority, at least for awhile.
But timers must walk alone. They can never give in to these pressures because just when the urge is greatest, the next profitable trend is launched. We must be on board. No trade can be missed.
Against The Herd
Yes... sometimes the majority are right, especially during a long trend. But never forget that the majority are wrong at market tops as well as market bottoms, when volume swells and everyone is moving in the same direction with herd-like mentality.
As market timers, we go against the herd. It may be tough at times, but we know that the profits realized over the years are well worth the battle.