FA Center: Take a long look before becoming a short-term stock-market timer

Tempted to become a short-term stock-market timer? Stop! First, read this column about hard it’s been so far this year for professional market timers to anticipate changes in the market’s shorter-term direction.

That’s because the U.S. stock markets since January have provided the ideal setting for short-term timers to beat the market by a large amount. Unlike last year, when the market went more or less straight up and thus created few profitable opportunities for short-term market timing, the market so far in 2018 has experienced several powerful rallies and declines. A good short-term market timer should have been able to exploit that volatility for profit.

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