Friday, March 13, 2009

Short Takes: Market Timing, Tax Tips, and Doing a Good Job

1. Since Monday’s close, the TSX jumped 9.5% in three days. There is no guarantee that these gains won’t disappear, but if this turns out to be the beginning of a sustained recovery in stock prices, it would be interesting to know how many market timers missed this jump while trying to predict the market bottom.

2. Canadian Capitalist considers a little market timing in this severe bear market. This sounds like an accusation, but I don’t mean it that way. Although we can show that the average market timer must lose money, it is possible that some market timers consistently make money over the long term. I’d give the idea of overweighting stocks during severe bear markets a chance at outperforming a fixed asset allocation because it is focused on long-term stock value rather than short-term momentum considerations. The tricky bit is to decide exactly when we have entered and the exited the severe bear market.

3. Larry MacDonald lists 5 tax tips. One tip in this list that I wasn’t aware of may be relevant for my mother.

4. Big Cajun Man has tax tips for parents of university students.

5. Preet describes some experiments to determine what motivates people to do a good job.

6. Frugal Trader offers tips on how to invest small amounts each month without getting hit with excessive fees. The suggestion I like best is to let the money build up until the cost of investing it is a small percentage of the amount invested. Of course, this only works if you can keep yourself from dipping into your slowly growing cash.

7. Thicken My Wallet has some tips for detecting when a company is playing accounting games.


  1. For selfish reasons, it would be nice if stocks stay low :)

    Thanks for the link Michael. Though I considered it, I'm sticking to the small allocation to bonds.