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  • Help me time the market

    It feels impossible to ignore market timing right now. I just surrendered my VUL for around $390k and my investment plan says to put it back in the market to reach my desired asset allocation. (At this point that means putting it mostly in Vanguard Total Intl Market to get to 70/30 US to Intl.) I am trying to resist the urge to time the market. I know timing is the wrong thing to do, but ************************ I feel like I could time the market even intraday with the way things have been swinging. I’m terrified to dump it all in and watch a rocky ride down to the bottom. Dollar cost averaging it in seems like just a different form of slow timing. The only guaranteed positive return I can get is using it to completely pay off my 2.25% mortgage.

    Since taking control of my finances from my advisor a month ago I’ve been able to tax loss harvest $30k in my Total US Market holdings, I really don’t want to do the same in international next month. My delicate ego can’t handle it. Can somebody with more experience/less emotion set me straight?

  • #2
    “I know I shouldn’t time the market but help me time the market.”

    the best argument I have for people in our line of work is to just look at the data. Trying to achieve superior returns through market timing is like giving Percocet for chronic low back pain. Feels like it should work but all the evidence shows it’s financial quackery.

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    • #3
      Well the title was really meant more to get people to actually read the post. A catchy/controversial title ensures people will at least read it and maybe respond…see also “Crypto is still early” thread.

      Further your metaphor, market timing may be Percocet for low back pain, but pouring 20% of your net worth into this market might be like giving Tylenol for cauda equina. It certainly won’t work and is stupid to even try.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BryanMD View Post
        Well the title was really meant more to get people to actually read the post. A catchy/controversial title ensures people will at least read it and maybe respond…see also “Crypto is still early” thread.

        Further your metaphor, market timing may be Percocet for low back pain, but pouring 20% of your net worth into this market might be like giving Tylenol for cauda equina. It certainly won’t work and is stupid to even try.
        You’re confusing outcome and process. The fact that the market might crash in the short term after investing a lump sum does not make the practice of lump sum investing similar to Tylenol for cauda equina. Nor does striking gold after one trade make you Warren Buffett.

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        • #5
          Have you ever changed a baby diaper?
          Hold your nose and push through it. The faster you finish it, the more pleasant your life will be.
          What’s the big stink? End the anxiety. Simple.

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          • #6
            Well, I guess for me “the big stink” is money. You know the same reason we all come to this website and the reason you’ve posted over 11,000 times on this forum.

            Sorry, that was catty. But sometimes it’s more than just process or data. It’s hard to write inaction into your investment plan. I didn’t know where to add “if the market is swinging 5% daily then do nothing”. To continue metaphors, this sort of feels like starting a transcontinental journey in a blizzard. Maybe I just wait until the salt trucks come out.

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            • #7
              I’ll post something a little more constructive and less snarky. If you think this is a “blizzard,” I really wonder how much you would have struggled in march or April 2020. I wasn’t investing in 2008 but I can only imagine it was worse. If you are struggling to this degree with the emotional side of investing, you may be someone for whom a good fee only advisor is worth the cost. At the very least, try to find ways to automate your investing as much as you can and tune out the latest noise on Wall Street.

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              • #8
                How about just investing some or all the money and stop looking at it?

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                • #9
                  The regrets I read about the people who tried and failed at market timing are much worse than those who bought at the peak and didn't blink when the market dropped.

                  People have been forecasting the market has hit the peak back in 2014-15. Looking back from 2001-2015 they didn't sound crazy at all:

                  https://yhoo.it/3KNyuBx

                  So they took their money out of the market and waited for it to fall:

                  https://yhoo.it/3KPPXcx

                  I know if I play it straight the odds are highly in my favor I will have a comfortable retirement.

                  Ego is going to cost you money.

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                  • #10
                    I don’t mind your “pay the mortgage off” idea.

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                    • #11
                      What wrong with the market? Your 70/30 plan sounds great. Just put your money in and forget it.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BryanMD View Post
                        Well, I guess for me “the big stink” is money. You know the same reason we all come to this website and the reason you’ve posted over 11,000 times on this forum.

                        Sorry, that was catty. But sometimes it’s more than just process or data. It’s hard to write inaction into your investment plan. I didn’t know where to add “if the market is swinging 5% daily then do nothing”. To continue metaphors, this sort of feels like starting a transcontinental journey in a blizzard. Maybe I just wait until the salt trucks come out.
                        1) When do you think you'll retire and actually start drawing down assets in your taxable account? Write down a date.

                        2) What do you think the likelihood is that the S&P 500 is going to be higher than 4,400 at that time?

                        3) Act accordingly.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BryanMD View Post
                          Well, I guess for me “the big stink” is money. You know the same reason we all come to this website and the reason you’ve posted over 11,000 times on this forum.

                          Sorry, that was catty. But sometimes it’s more than just process or data. It’s hard to write inaction into your investment plan. I didn’t know where to add “if the market is swinging 5% daily then do nothing”. To continue metaphors, this sort of feels like starting a transcontinental journey in a blizzard. Maybe I just wait until the salt trucks come out.
                          Here is a more rational explanation.
                          https://awealthofcommonsense.com/201...f-market-tops/
                          Ben’s writing I find soothing so to speak. The Wall of Worry is an old concept. He had a post about saving all money and only investing at market tops, all in. Then saving again until a new top. Think about it. Always buying at the peak, the absolute worst time. Funny thing was you make money. In the long run, if you save, trying to pick the worst time, a market top is impossible. BUT, you would still make money. Why? You never sold. Could have done better by holding your nose and investing.
                          Maybe someone can find the post.
                          BehVioral finance you are trying for forecast other peoples behavior.
                          The point is invest with your plan for the long term and stay in.
                          Easy to say, hard to do. Ben produces a lot of data and articles that deal with many investment worries.

                          https://awealthofcommonsense.com/202...s-an-investor/
                          Watch the video with #9. Bob the worst market timer.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thought about hiring a fee only advisor?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If putting it all in the mkt and seeing it tank is gonna be hard on you, then you probably need to increase your bond allocation.

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