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Mark Hulbert: Market timing is out of favor — so is a stock-market top near?

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Market timers are struggling. And that means a market top could be imminent.

That’s because of a decidedly unscientific indicator that I created two decades ago called the Market Timing Popularity Cycle. It’s based on the distinct tendency for market timing to reach the point of greatest popularity at stock-market bottoms (when advisers confidently pronounce that “buy and hold is dead”) and to become least popular at market tops (when buy and hold makes a big comeback).

And market timers are indeed struggling. In fact, in my four decades of tracking the industry I have hardly ever witnessed market timing to be more out of favor than it is now.

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