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Sell In May And Go Away: Is It The Best Move?

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    June 1, 2012

    Justin Harper, market strategist at IG Markets in Singapore said last night, “The phrase ‘sell in May and go away’ was probably the best investment move you could have made. Markets pretty much gave back all their first quarter gains in May.”

    Yes, May was a bad month. But so was April. So also was the last half of March.

    Most global markets actually topped out in mid-March, making the last half of March, all of April, and all of May quite ugly times to be in the market.


    Our Seasonal Timing Strategy did quite well with its exit signal April 20. But I liked our signal in our non-seasonal Market-Timing Strategy just as well. It came off its October buy signal in mid-February, prompting us to take our profits from its October buy signal.

    In fact, I liked the buy signal from both strategies in October just as well. And the sell signals of both last April.

    But that’s history. What comes next is what counts now.

    In the U.S. market will it be a summer rally in June and July like the 7% rally last June and July?Or did the rally in April in the U.S. market this year satisfy that similarity to last year? 


    Would you like to be a Certified Financial Advisor?

    The annual CFA exams will take place this Saturday, thought by many to be the hardest exams taken by Wall Street professionals. As Ben Duronio points out on Business Insiders, fewer than 20% of candidates pass the exams on the first attempt. That’s an even lower percentage than law candidates who pass the bar exams on the first attempt, or accountants who pass the board exams to become CPA’s on the first attempt.

    The CFA requirements are as demanding as any profession.

    After fulfilling the education and experience requirements comes the exams, a series of three, Level I, Level II, and Level III, each given separately.

    The topics covered in alphabetical order include Alternative Investments, Behavioral Finance, Corporate Finance, Derivatives, Economics, Equity Investments, Financial Statement Analysis, Fixed Income, Communications Skills, Performance Measurement & Evaluation, Portfolio Management, Private Wealth Management, Quantitative Analysis Methods, Risk Management, Standards, Ethics, & Regulations, etc.

    Level I exams are offered twice a year, in June and December. Level 11, and Level III exams are given only once a year, in June only.

    It’s the Level I and Level II exams being offered on Saturday. The exams for each level are all-day affairs, with a morning and afternoon session.

    The best of luck to this year’s candidates. 

    To read my weekend newspaper column click here: Stop the Noise – Americans Aren’t Dumb! May 25, 2012

    Subscribers to Street Smart Report: In addition to the information in the premium content’ area of this morning’s blog, there is an in-depth ‘U.S. Markets’ update from yesterday in the subscribers’ area of the Street Smart Report website. Please also stay tuned to the hotline!

    Images: Flickr (licence attribution)

    About The Author

    Sy Harding publishes the financial website www.StreetSmartReport.com and a free daily Internet blog at www.SyHardingblog.com. In 1999 he authored Riding The Bear – How To Prosper In the Coming Bear Market. His latest book is Beat the Market the Easy Way! – Proven Seasonal Strategies Double Market’s Performance!


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