Catching the tide
There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune, Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.
William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
Timing can be critical in investing. Yet timing the market is one of the most difficult aspects of the craft. The problem is largely in our minds rather than in a lack of knowledge or skills. The final part of the book discusses ideas that may be helpful with investment decision making in general, but especially the timing aspects.
When we first start to think about investing our savings we tend to imagine that there is a right way to go about it. This is variously described as the search for the Holy Grail, the silver bullet or the keys to the kingdom. As we start to read and study the subject we soon become confused, because there seem to be many ways to make money in the markets. The sooner we come to the realisation that there is no single methodology that is in some way the ‘best’, the sooner we begin to make real progress in learning the craft.
The reason that there are many ways to invest, all of which can be successful to some degree, is due to the nature of the task. Firstly, markets are forever changing. Things that work well in one period are replaced by things that work better in another period. Value investing may give the ...