There is a lot to lose and little to gain from market timing
I last wrote about the problems of so-called market timing in these pages in 2013 (Market timing: don't try this at home). With the Covid-19 pandemic dominating the news and recent volatility on world stock markets, you may have heard a lot about market timing again.
We now have a fully-fledged economic crisis caused by the reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic. What should you do about it in terms of investment?
Tumult, turbulence and turmoil are just the words beginning with the letter T used by commentators to describe the behaviour of stock markets in October. I think it’s always good to look at the definition of the words we are being asked to accept. For example: turmoil, noun: a state of great disturbance, confusion, or uncertainty . synonyms: confusion, upheaval(s), turbulence, tumult, disorder.
As an equity fund manager, questioning the investment myth that equities outperform bonds is the equivalent of coprolalia, an occasional characteristic of Tourette’s syndrome in which the sufferer involuntarily utters socially inappropriate remarks.
There seems to be something so alluring about dividend income that it often seems to lead investors to abandon common sense or be encouraged to do so by the investment industry.
For example, how many times have you heard it said that the majority of returns from investment in equities comes from reinvestment of the dividends?