Some days are great. Some days are awful. Some days fall somewhere in between the two extremes. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could eliminate some of the awful days? Unfortunately, in life too often the awful days end up taking us by surprise.
The same holds true to an extent in the stock market – great days, awful days and everything in between. The one difference – as it turns out – is that we may be able to identify some of the bad days in advance.
Trading Days Best Missed
For our purposes we will count the first trading day of the month as TDM 1, the second as TDM 2 and so on.
We will also count backwards from the last trading day of the month as follows: The last trading day of the month is TDM -1, the next to last day is TDM -2 and so on.
Here are the Trading Days Best Missed:
*TDM 13 through TDM 16
*TDM -10 through TDM -5
Note that there is invariably some overlap between these two periods. For example, during September 2017 TDM -10 through -5 extended from 9/18 through 9/25 while TDM 13 through 16 extended from 9/20 through 9/25.
Still, there is no “guesswork”. One simply counts the trading days for a given month – backwards and forwards – and notes the “seasonally unfavorable” days as days to avoid the stock market.
For our test we will hold the Dow Jones Industrial Average on all days that DO NOT fall between TDM 13 through 16 nor through TDM -10 through -5.
During those days we will hold cash, earning 1% interest per year.
Obviously, this “system” involves trading in and out every month. Is it worth it to trade so often? Let’s look at the results and you can decide for yourself.
Figure 1 displays the growth of $1,000 invested in the Dow Jones Industrials Average ONLY on the “bad days” spelled out above since 1945.Figure 1 – Growth of $1,000 invested in DJIA ONLY during TDM 13 through 16 and TDM -10 through -5; 12/31/1945-10/30/2017
Figure 2 displays the growth of $1,000 invested in the Dow Jones Industrials Average all days NOT included in the bad days spelled out above (blue line) versus $1,000 invested in the Dow on a buy-and-hold basis (red line). Figure 2 – Growth of $1,000 invested in DJIA during all “not bad” days plus 1% annualized interest when out of the market (blue line) versus buying-and-holding (red line); 12/31/1945-10/30/2017
For the record:
*Buying and holding the Dow during ALL trading days since 1945 produced a gain of +12,003%
*Buying and holding the Dow ONLY during TDM 13 through 16 AND TDM -10 through -5 produced a loss of -82%
*Buying and holding the Dow ONLY during all other days produced a gain of +81,661% (or 6.8 times that of buy-and-hold)
Most investors are not enamored with the idea of trading in and out of the stock market each and every month. Which I get. Still, the relevant question is “If you knew in advance when a bad day was coming (psst, in terms of the stock market, the results presented here suggest that maybe we do), would you do something about it?”
It’s a fair question.
Disclaimer: The data presented herein were obtained from various third-party sources. While I believe the data to be reliable, no representation is made as to, and no responsibility, warranty or liability is accepted for the accuracy or completeness of such information. The information, opinions and ideas expressed herein are for informational and educational purposes only and do not constitute and should not be construed as investment advice, an advertisement or offering of investment advisory services, or an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any security.