Most legitimate market participants will tell you not to try and ‘time’ the market. What they mean by that is don’t try and predict when the market is going to fall and when the market is going to climb higher. Historically, this has been extremely difficult to predict with any real accuracy, but ETFs could make it easier for you to accomplish.
So, most advisors tell clients to stay invested in the markets and ride the ups and downs. I fully agree with this thinking because it is very difficult to predict major market moves. For example, while some people did predict the market would crash in March, not so many thought it would tear right back higher as quickly as it did. Even those who did predict the move higher had a hard time predicting wh the bottom of the fall was and when the actual bottom was and, therefore, the absolute ‘best’ time to get back in.
The biggest problem with trying to time the market is that you will miss part of the moves back higher. And knowing when the right time to get back in is more difficult than just riding it out the wave up and down.
Market uncertainty creates volatility and the VIX is an index that measures this volatility based on the S&P 500. When news hits the stock market, the VIX increases and when there are fewer outside factors or less uncertainty about the future, we see the VIX fall.
Thus far, in 2020, we have had two situations that have increased volatility in the stock market; the political and military situations between the United States and Iran and the Coronavirus. We are only one month into the year and two major events have occurred which have sent the VIX soaring higher. There will undoubtedly be more pop-up events such as say further political and military issues with Iran or even North Korea perhaps. We will likely see natural disasters pop-up which could cause uncertainty, the situation in England with Brexit and how that is handled could potentially cause uncertainty. Coronavirus is likely to continue to create uncertainty. These are just a few predictions off the top of my head that could cause the VIX to move in the coming months.
One event coming in 2020 that we can all see on a calendar is the Presidential election this year. We know uncertainty about the future causes the VIX to rise and based on the past election of President Donald Trump, we can confidently say that political polling is not very accurate. Thus, we can predict there will be a high level of uncertainty coming down the road with who may be our next President.
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