“Sell in May and Go Away”: 8 Things That Matter More

Are you ready for what’s supposed to be the slowest and least productive period of the year?

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Are you ready for what’s supposed to be the slowest and least productive period of the year? May kicks off a five-month stretch that is so synonymous with lackluster performance that the term “sell in May and go away” is fixed in Wall Street’s vernacular.

The theory has a little merit. On average, the months from May through September are tepid at best, and bearish at worst. But it’s not quite accurate to call the whole span a waste of time. Investors who are willing to stay in the market rather than “sell in May” more often than not find that their portfolios are slightly bigger come September – even if just barely.

More than anything, the notion that following the “sell in May and go away” practice will let you sidestep a sleepy phase is irrelevant. There are frequent exceptions to the norm. Stocks reflect what’s going on around them far more than they respond to calendar-based tendencies.

Here are eight other factors that should play a much more important role in determining how you should invest (and what you should invest in) over the middle months of 2018.

James Brumley
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger.com
James Brumley is a former stock broker, registered investment adviser and Director of Research for an options-focused newsletter. He's now primarily a freelance writer, tapping more than a decade's worth of broad experience to help investors get more out of the market. With a background in technical analysis as well as fundamental analysis, James touts stock-picking strategies that combine the importance of company performance with the power of stock-trade timing. He believes this dual approach is the only way an investor has a shot at consistently beating the market. James' work has appeared at several websites including Street Authority, Motley Fool, Kapitall and Investopedia. When not writing as a journalist, James works on his book explaining his multi-pronged approach to investing.