The 3 Days of the Month to Avoid

  • SumoMe

Some days are just better than others – am I right or am I right?  As a corollary, some days are worse than others.  Wouldn’t it be nice to know in advance which days were going to be which?

Well, when it comes to the stock market (and bond market for that matter), maybe you can.

The 3 Days to Miss

For our purposes we will refer to the very last trading day of the month as TDM -1.  The day before that will be TDM -2, the one before that TDM -3, etc.  Now let’s focus specifically on TDMs -7, -6 and -5.

(See also The World is Your Oyster – 11 Days a Month)

Let’s now assume that we will buy and hold the Dow Jones Industrials Average every day of every month EXCEPT for those three days – i.e., we will sell at the close of TDM -8 every single month and buy back in 3 days later.  We will refer to this as Jay’s -765 Method.  Granted some may not be comfortable trading this often, but before dismissing the idea please consider the results.

Figure 1 displays the growth of $1,000 invested in the Dow as described above versus the growth of $1,000 from buying and holding the Dow.

*The starting date for this test is 12/1/1933.

*For this test no interest is assumed on the 3 days a month spent out of the market.1Figure 1 – Growth of $1,000 invested in Dow Industrials during all days EXCEPT TDM -7,TDM -6 and TDM -5 (blue line) versus $1,000 invested in Dow Industrials using buy-and-hold (red line); 12/1/1933-8/15/2016

For the record:

*Jay’s -765 Method gained +94,190%

*The Dow buy-and-hold gained +18,745%

While these results are compelling, the real “Wow” comes from looking at would have happened if you had been long the Dow ONLY on TDMs -7,-6 and -5 every month since 1933.  These results appear in Figure 2 (but you’d better brace yourself before taking a glance).2Figure 2 – Growth of $1,000 invested in the Dow ONLY on the 7th to last, 6th to last and 5th to last trading days of every month since 12/1/1933

The net result is an almost unrelenting 83 year decline of -80%.


I would guess that some readers would like me to offer a detailed and logical reason as to why this works.  Unfortunately, I will have to go with my stock answer of “It beats me.”  Of course, as a proud graduate of “The School of Whatever Works” (Team Cheer: “Whatever!”) I am not as interested in the “Why” of things as I am the “How Much.”

Sorry, it’s just my nature.

Jay Kaeppel


5 thoughts on “The 3 Days of the Month to Avoid

  1. I think the worst two days are TDM – 6 and TDM – 5
    What do the graphs look like using only those two days?

    The cause may be pension fund and mutual fund month-end distributions. The funds need to liquidate some stocks earlier to raise money for these payments.

  2. Jay, I always enjoy your insight and analysis and find it useful. The guy that didn’t want your comments any longer

    reminds me of the saying, you can take a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

    If dealing with the public really gets under your skin, try EFT. Dr. Mercola’s site as well as others have some good explanations. It works by breaking the electrical impulse in your system. Read about it if you are not familiar with it.

    I am an old timer AIQ user, you probably remember me, and I have learned to use the system in an amazing way, but I look forward to your comments. There is always something new to learn.

    If I had three thumbs, you would get them all thumbs up, but since there are only two, then two thumbs up. Don’t let the b……… guys get you down.

  3. Hi Jay,
    Enjoyed your interview on Better Systems Trader YT Channel. Your seasonal based trading makes so much sense. Thanks for your willingness to share.

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