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Mark Hulbert: Here’s the stock trading secret that market timers won’t tell you

Call it the market- timing industry’s dirty little secret: bear markets and heightened volatility are good for business.

That’s not because they are ornery by nature. It’s simply a rational recognition on their part that it’s difficult to add value when the stock market is going straight up.

Take the U.S. market’s extraordinary rise over the two years through its January top: It was achieved without even a 5% pullback in the S&P 500 SPX, -0.24% much less the 10% drop that is considered the semi-official definition of a correction. Expected market volatility, as measured by the CBOE’s Volatility Index VIX, +5.51% fell to record lows.

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