Do you time your investments?

Hi all

Basically just a quick question - do you time your investments?

I want to invest monthly into VT and started about 3 months ago. Right now, the price for VT is quit high and i am asking myself if i should wait until it drops a bit or just keep investing?


Hi ddosh,

At what price would you buy it? What’s your plan to get in if it’s not “buy whenever I have money to invest”?

Asking because having a plan is important. I’m buying individual stocks and timing it in that I choose which one to buy in a certain range according to how over- or under- (or fair) valued I think they all are, but whatever amount of my wealth my asset allocation calls to be in stocks is in stocks, at all times. I’d not do any timing with a broad diversified ETF: the plan, then, would be to get the returns the global stock market is willing to give me, no matter what happens.

No. I invest as soon as I have some money that I don’t need at the moment. So usually once a month after receiving my salary.

So what would you do if VT will never be as cheap as today for the rest of your life? Wait till death? :stuck_out_tongue:


Check the other threads here in the forum. Don’t try timing the market. I can recommend the Ben Felix video about this:

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I do this way. I invest the same amount of money each quarter.
At the beginn of each quarter I place an order for VT at a price 5% below market value and wait. If the order did not take place until the end of the quarter, I buy it at market value and set the next order 5% below that value.
I thought of this when the market dropped last march and unfortunately I did not have any liquidity to buy low. Now I just started but cannot say if it is any better than other strategies.

You’re probably buying VT at a higher price most of the time, since you’re delaying the purchase and the stock market goes up more than it goes down. I’d be interested to hear from your results (i.e. : how many times you end up buying at market price one month later and at what discounts you get it the rest of the time).

Valueing strategies can work for individual stocks because it’s easier to assign a value to them. Some go up and down a lot and present a fair chance to be available under a fixed thresold in the future. The total stock market is way harder to value and can act irrationally for a lot of time. Even when most people think it is overvalued, it can keep going on for years and then drop at a level higher than what you thought was overvalued at the time (because time has passed and more value was added to the market, among other reasons most of which we have no means to assess).

As an example, here’s the price of a share of ABB since 2008. I’m fairly sure it’ll be available for less than 20 CHF at some point in the future and see no reason to buy it above that price (since there are other attractive stocks to buy when it’s high):

As a comparison, here’s VT since 2008. Will it go up, or down, or sideways? I don’t know.

Edit: changed the ABBN displayed period to match the VT one.

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Great chart. There are probably people that are waiting since January 2013 to buy at a discount. Still waiting and missed out on +100% including dividends.


I know, I was thinking the market was overvalued in 2016 and that it had to go down more than that in the short time. xD

You also have to add dividends on top of that, being out of the market means you don’t get them so you’d have to find a proper alternate investment while you wait and be sure the money would still be available when you do decide to purchase at your target bargained price.

That seems pretty hard to pull off to me.

A friend of mine has a lump sum to invest. Says he wants to be a die-hard buy and hold investor: invest and forget.

Yet, he wants to invest at the right time.

He’s been waiting for about two years now…


Lol what about March? Why didn’t he jump in? Because he was sure it would drop even further and then missed the boat completely?

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I find my real preparation is taking steps to reduce discretionary spending in order to profit from a drop if one happens. I’ve missed some good opportunities in February-March but I’ve worked on it during the year and am very ready for a drop.

Still investing monthly whatever money I have available, only more of it with not planned big expense for the start of next year. :slight_smile:

Honestly, I think he’s scared. Maybe the stock market isn’t for him and he might be better off buying some actively managed strategy fund with his brick-and-mortar bank. Peace of mind, high costs, but still better than a savings account.

I have a different approach.
No timing: 80% of the assets are long-term. Buy and hold, whenever it may be when cash is around. I adjust maybe once or twice a year.
Timing: The rest, I trade regularly when I find time, where I take quite more risk and on an almost daily basis. For the kick and as a hobby. The (mostly) surplus of this goes to the long term assets as extra cash.
Over the years I had good times, where I could triple the monthly cash inflow into the long-term investment, and bad times, where I lost almost 80% of my gambling money and had to rebuild it first.

Overall, I think I’m even, as if I would have had just 100% long-term investment. But then I would have needed another hobby and kicks… yoga & base jumping???

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