Why Stock Market Timing

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Stock market timing can reduce your risk and amplify your gains by avoiding bear market losses.

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Copyright 2006 Equitrend, Inc.

It’s important that you understand the impact that a bear market has on your capital. The give and take of your investment capital is not equal. If you placed $100 into an investment and it declined 50% to $50, what is the rate of return you would need to earn back your original investment of $100?

Once you lose money, it takes a much greater return on the funds you have left to recapture your original investment. In this case, you would need a 100% gain on the remaining $50 to recapture your original $100 investment.

Looking at historical bear markets in the United States, we can conclude that the time to recovery from a bear market can take between six months and twenty five years! Declines in portfolio value have ranged from 20% to 86.7%! Not a good scenario for buy and hold investors. This is why you would be better off financially to never lose money in any one year and to only achieve half of the market’s returns in the positive years. Let us explain how this is possible. If you never lost money in the down market years, you would only need to capture 38.33% of the gains in the positive market years to equal a buy-and-hold position in the Nasdaq 100 index. More realistically, if your losses in the down market years were half the Nasdaq’s losses, you would only need to capture 63.37% of the Nasdaq’s gains in the positive market years to equal a buy-and-hold position.

The point we are making is that you don’t need to equal or outperform the performance of the market in the positive market years if you protect your capital in the down market years. Protecting your capital in the down market years has an exponential effect on growing your capital over time.

The objective of any stock market timing strategy should be to reduce risk and maximize returns – with risk reduction being the most important factor. All other things being equal, you want to invest in the least volatile, highest reward, lowest risk strategy possible.

You may be reading this today because you are tired of giving all of your own assets, or your client’s assets, away to a bear market. You may even be in the position where your retirement has been diminished to the point of having to change your retirement plans.

Whatever the reason, there are better ways to grow and protect your assets than the buy and hold (buy and hope) myth promoted by Wall Street.

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Fair Value of A Common Stock

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A lot of discussions have been devoted towards finding fair value of an investment. The goal of every investors is to find undervalued investment and sell it when it reaches fair value. Admittedly, this is the hardest part of investing. So, what is fair value? Fair value is a point where the price of an investment reflect its earning power.
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A lot of discussions have been devoted towards finding fair value of an investment. The goal of every investors is to find undervalued investment and sell it when it reaches fair value. Admittedly, this is the hardest part of investing. So, what is fair value? Fair value is a point where the price of an investment reflect its earning power.

Fair value is relative and it depends on other factors beyond the investors’ control. In here, we will discuss on calculating fair value within our own boundary of control. In short, calculating fair value of an investment depends on the rate of return expected and the risk taken to achieve that return. Higher risk needs higher reward. It is quite simple.

So, what asset constitute lower risk investments? We can only compare. First thing that comes out of my mind is Certificate of Deposit (CD). You are guaranteed certain return (interest rate), if you can hold for a certain pre-determined time frame. You would never lose your principal at the end of the time frame.

The next low risk investment is Treasury Bond. This is the bond issued by the United States government, which is deemed to be safest in the world. There are certain risks associated with the small fluctuation in the bond price. However, if you held the bond until maturity, you are guaranteed certain rate of return. Your rate of return depends to certain extent on the price that you bought the bond at.

The next higher risk investment is buying common stock. This is what we are going to focus more here. It is considered higher risk than the two types of investments mentioned previously because you have a higher chance of losing money on your investments. Earlier, we established that higher risk needs higher reward. Therefore, stock investing requires a higher reward.

So, what does this have anything to do with fair value? Quite simply, the price of a common stock that we buy must gives us a higher annual return than bonds or CD. For example if a CD gives you a 3% return, treasury bonds give you a 4% return, then you would want your stock gives you a higher return of perhaps 6%.

What does it means for a stock to give investor a return of 6%? It never really say it, doesn’t it? You are partly right. While it is not explicitly shown, you can do a little digging and find out how much the return of your stock investment would be. For example, if your Certificate of Deposit (CD) gives you a 2% annual return, for $ 100 of investment, you would earn $ 2 every year. Let’s assume that you want your stock to give you a return of 6%, which is higher than CD or treasury bond. This implies for every $ 100 invested in common stock, it needs to give us a return of $ 6 annually.

Where can we get this information? You can get it on Yahoo! Finance or other financial publications. All we need to do is find the share price of a common stock and the profit per share (also known as earning per share) of that particular stock. Let’s use an example to illustrate my point. Magna International Inc. (MGA) is expected to post a profit of $ 6.95 per share for fiscal year 2005. Recently, the share is trading at $ 73.00. The annual return of buying Magna stock is therefore $6.95 divided by its share price $ 73.00. This gives us a return of 9.5%.

Will Magna continue to give investors a 9.5 % return year after year? It depends. If the stock price rises, Magna will return less than 9.5 % annually. What else? Well, Magna might not constantly produce the same amount of profit year after year. It might even produce a loss! So, you see, stock investing is inherently risky because there are two moving part in the equation. Price of the common stock and the profits produced by the company itself. That is the reason why investor need to aim for higher return when choosing their stock investment.

All right. So, let’s move on to the crucial thing in investing in common stock. What is the fair value of Magna stock assuming a constant profit of $ 6.95 per share? Personally, I assign fair value of a common stock to be at least 2% above the rate of Treasury bond. Please note that I am using the 10 year bond here. Recently, treasury bond can give us a 4 % return. Therefore, the fair value of Magna common stock is when it can give me a return of 6%

So, what is the fair value of Magna common stock in this case? For a profit of $ 6.95 per share, the fair value of Magna common stock is $115.80 per share. That’s right. At $ 115.80 per share, Magna common stock will return investors 6% annually. Having said that, we should never buy a common stock at fair value. Why? Because our investing purpose is to make money. If we buy stocks at fair value, then when do we profit from it? Do we expect to sell it when it is overvalued? Sure, it would be nice if we can do that all the time. But to be conservative, let’s not bank on our stocks reaching overvalued level.

There you go. I have explained how to calculate fair value in a common stock. Of course, the $ 6.95 per share profit figure is the expectation of profit compiled by Yahoo! Finance. It is not in any way an endorsement to buy Magna common stock. You should do your own calculation to verify that number.

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How To Evaluate a Good Stock Market Timing System

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How to evaluate a good stock market timing system to enhance your investment returns.
stock market timing, timing the market, market timing, investment
Copyright 2006 Equitrend, Inc.

No matter what investment discipline you use, there are three important variables for measuring your success – peak-to-valley drawdown, beta, reward/risk ratio. The first and most important factor is your measure of risk. Performance volatility is a measure of the variability of an investment’s rate of return.

Specifically, it is the standard deviation of the sample set of monthly returns that have been observed for the investment over the interval being considered. A simple way to measure a good stock market timing system is to calculate the largest peak-to-valley drawdown that has or would have occurred in the last five years. This drawdown is your measure of risk.

Second, is your beta to the overall market. Beta is an important variable that measures portfolio or timing system volatility as compared to an index. Most Betas are calculated based on the S&P 500 index. A beta of one tells you that the system has the same volatility (i.e. risk) as the S&P 500 index. A beta of two tells you that the system has twice the volatility as the S&P 500 index.

By actively managing your money, your stock market timing system should allow you to reduce the beta of your portfolio as compared to the index you are trading and substantially improve your returns over time.

Third, is your reward/risk ratio, which calculates your reward as compared to your risk. In order to calculate this, you need to know your average rate of return. A rule of thumb is that your return should be at least twice as large as your risk. For example, if your largest peak-to-valley drawdown percentage over the last five years is 15%, your average rate of return should be at least 30%. In other words, your reward/risk ratio (30%/15% = 2) should be 2 or greater.

The best stock market timing system for you will depend a lot on your personality, specifically your tolerance for risk. You might think a trend timing system that averages 80% is a great system, but what if I told you that system had a risk potential of 35%?

Most people cannot tolerate a system that decreases their investment capital more than 20%. Your tolerance and ability to accept risk should help you identify a stock market timing system that right for you.

There are only a few systems available that really work. Most come and go like mayflies on a warm summer day. When evaluating a timing system, it important to consider all of the above factors plus whether or not the system has survived and prospered over at least a five year period. If they’ve made it through the last five to six years, you’ve likely found a good stock market timing system.

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5 Tips for Investing in Penny Stocks

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Investing in penny stocks provides traders with the opportunity to dramatically increase their profits, however, it also provides an equal opportunity to lose your trading capital quickly. These 5 tips will help you lower the risk of one of the riskiest investment vehicles.
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Investing in penny stocks provides traders with the opportunity to dramatically increase their profits, however, it also provides an equal opportunity to lose your trading capital quickly. These 5 tips will help you lower the risk of one of the riskiest investment vehicles.

1. Penny Stocks are a penny for a reason.
While we all dream about investing in the next Microsoft or the next Home Depot, the truth is, the odds of you finding that once in a decade success story are slim. These companies are either starting out and purchased a shell company because it was cheaper than an IPO, or they simply do not have a business plan compelling enough to justify investment banker’s money for an IPO. This doesn’t make them a bad investment, but it should make you be realistic about the kind of company that you are investing in.

2. Trading Volumes
Look for a consistent high volume of shares being traded. Looking at the average volume can be misleading. If ABC trades 1 million shares today, and doesn’t trade for the rest of the week, the daily average will appear to be 200 000 shares. In order to get in and out at an acceptable rate of return, you need consistent volume. Also look at the number of trades per day. Is it 1 insider selling or buying? Liquidity should be the first thing to look at. If there is no volume, you will end up holding “dead money”, where the only way of selling shares is to dump at the bid, which will put more selling pressure, resulting in an even lower sell price.

3. Does the company know how to make a profit?
While its not unusual to see a start up company run at a loss, its important to look at why they are losing money. Is it manageable? Will they have to seek further financing (resulting in dilution of your shares) or will they have to seek a joint partnership that favors the other company?

If your company knows how to make a profit, the company can use that money to grow their business, which increases shareholder value. You have to do some research to find these companies, but when you do, you lower the risk of a loss of your capital, and increase the odds of a much higher return.

4. Have an entry and exit plan – and stick to it.
Penny stocks are volitile. They will quickly move up, and move down just as quickly. Remember, if you buy a stock at $0.10 and sell it at $0.12, that represents a 20% return on your investment. A 2 cent decline leaves you with a 20% loss. Many stocks trade in this range on a daily basis. If your investment capital is $10 000, a 20% loss is a $2000 loss. Do this 5 times and you’re out of money. Keep your stops close. If you get stopped out, move on to the next opportunity. The market is telling you something, and whether you want to admit it or not, its usually best to listen.

If your plan was to sell at $0.12 and it jumps to $0.13, either take the 30% gain, or better still, place your stop at $0.12. Lock in your profits while not capping the upside potential.

5. How did you find out about the stock?
Most people find out about penny stocks through a mailing list. There are many excellent penny stock newsletters, however, there are just as many who are pumping and dumping. They, along with insiders, will load up on shares, then begin to pump the company to unsuspecting newsletter subscribers. These subscribers buy while insiders are selling. Guess who wins here.

Not all newsletters are bad. Having worked in the industry for the last 8 years, I have seen my share of unscrupulous companies and promoters. Some are paid in shares, sometimes in restricted shares (an agreement whereby the shares cannot be sold for a predetermined period of time), others in cash.

How to spot the good companies from the bad? Simply subscribe, and track the investments. Was there a legitimate opportunity to make money? Do they have a track record of providing subscribers with great opportunities? You’ll start to notice quickly if you have subscribed to a good newsletter or not.

One other tip I would offer to you is not to invest more than 20% of your overall portfolio in penny stocks. You are investing to make money and preserve capital to fight another battle. If you put too much of your capital at risk, you increase the odds of losing your capital. If that 20% grows, you’ll have more than enough money to make a healthy rate of return. Penny stocks are risky to begin with, why put your money more at risk?

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An Industry Blueprint To Stocks And Shares

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In this day and age, a lot of things have changed from how they used to be, which can be new and exciting for most.

Because of the large size of the stock market, beginner investors appear to feel overwhelmed as to where to even activate investing their money. To most people, the stock market presents a messy web of options but does not reveal the highway map of clarity to guide their way along way in their investment adventure. The key to investing in the stock market is …
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In this day and age, a lot of things have changed from how they used to be, which can be new and exciting for most.

Because of the large size of the stock market, beginner investors appear to feel overwhelmed as to where to even activate investing their money. To most people, the stock market presents a messy web of options but does not reveal the highway map of clarity to guide their way along way in their investment adventure. The key to investing in the stock market is to become as educated as it is possible so that you know exactly what is taking place at all times. This helps people to make plausible and sound decisions about their money, thus, dropping the stress involved with investing.

The usual person, when beginning to entertain the idea of investing in the stock market, falls into one of two categories. Class one is the gambler who feels that investing is definitely a form of betting and no question what they do, they are certain that they will drop money slightly than make money. It seems that this opinion of investing in stocks is either formed from friends and family that have been baffled by the stock market or private experience and lost money. If someone has personally made losses in the stock market, it is pretty evident that they were not educated enough at the time of their investment in the stock market. Therefore, they must become educated as to what exactly the stock market is as well as how its system works in order to become a successful investor. Class two, on the other hand, represents the “go-getter?investor, which is an individual who knows that they should invest into the stock market for the safety of their monetary future, but they have absolutely no idea where to begin. The “go-getters?lean towards avoiding their monetary decisions and leave it up to professionals; therefore, they are powerless to justify why they own a certain stock. A usual “go-getter?operates in blind faith, as one stock goes up in value, they more than likely will hold it. The “go-getter?is in poorer shape than the gambler in that they will invest like everyone else and then wonder why they receive an unsatisfactory or devastating outcome. This just proves that the typical person should become thoroughly educated about the stock market as well as stocks before investment takes place.

Essential to every economy is business…businesses that started out as small operations that have grown to become money making giants, raising capital by promoting stock in them to people who want to invest to make their futures financially secure. As small businesses start to grow, one of the supreme obstacles is generating enough money in order to develop into a superior operation. Businesses either scrounge the money in the form of a offer from a bank or venture capitalist, or someone that will invest money into a business in which they feel they will receive a high rate of return, or a reap from their investment into a business, in order to create the currency to expand. The most common choice for a business to gain money for the view of expansion is to take out a loan; however, there is no agreement that a bank will offer money to any given business.

What we have explored up to now is the most important information you need to know. Now, let dig a little deeper.

In this case, business owners roam to the stock market for help in the form of issuing stocks. Firm owners relinquish a tiny fraction of control over their business and in reciprocation; the stock market provides that business money that does not have to be salaried back, in order to guarantee expansion. As an added bonus, the business is permitted to “go public,?a saying that means a brand is selling stocks for itself for the first time, so that business owners no longer are required to borrow money from banks because they can merely use their own stocks for getting monies to use for expansion. Thus, as the business grows and sells their stocks to people, the better chance a sponsor has on gaining a return on their investment as opposed to a loss.

As an investor, it is to your advantage to efficiently study each and every business in which you propose to hold stocks. The more facts you know about any certain business, the easier it is to make a plausible decision as to whether you should hold stocks or want a different business in which to work with.

Try searching for a particular keyword from the title of this article on your search engine and you are sure to find a wealth of knowledge.

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