Investors Lose Big With Market Timing

During the past decade, investors lagged the average fund by an annualized 1.5 percentage points, a new study finds. Here’s how to avoid that fate.

Think you can guess the direction of the market? Surely any fool could have foreseen the market’s collapse after Lehman Brothers failed in September 2008. And by March 2009, stocks were so cheap that they had nowhere to go but up.

Market timing seems so easy in hindsight. What’s more, plenty of professionals -- including brokers, advisers and investment newsletters -- stand ready to offer you guidance on when to trim your exposure to stock funds and when to boost it.

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Steven Goldberg
Contributing Columnist,
Steve has been writing for Kiplinger's for more than 25 years. As an associate editor and then senior associate editor, he covered mutual funds for Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine from 1994-2006. He also authored a book, But Which Mutual Funds? In 2006 he joined with Jerry Tweddell, one of his best sources on investing, to form Tweddell Goldberg Investment Management to manage money for individual investors. Steve continues to write a regular column for and enjoys hearing investing questions from readers. You can contact Steve at 301.650.6567 or