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Mark Hulbert: How to make money with stocks despite September’s awful record

How should you get ready for the worst month of the year for stocks?

The surprise answer: By doing nothing.

That’s the proper response because September’s awful record is, in effect, a crime in search of a motive. And without a motive, we have no business betting on the pattern’s persistence — no matter how impressive it might be from a purely statistical point of view.

To be sure, the statistics behind September’s awful record appear to be impressive indeed. Not only is the month’s average return far worse than every other month (an average loss of 1.05% since 1896, versus an average gain of 0.75% across the other 11 months), September’s average can’t be traced to just a few terrible instances.

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