Life is full of profound statements and sayings that stick in our minds. For investors and brokers, the saying “sell in May and go away” has held some degree of truth for those who are looking to avoid the volatility and declines of the equity markets from May through October.
This topic seems to have some momentum among the popular investment media advisors where we have seen no less than a dozen Wall Street insiders telling everyone who will listen…[continued below video]
Video: Watch as Annuity Guys, Dick and Eric, discuss as to whether the best way is to sell in May.
**Guarantees, including optional benefits, are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuer, and may contain limitations, including surrender charges, which may affect policy values. During this segment, Dick and Eric are referring to Fixed Annuities unless otherwise specified.
[continued]…that this is not the year to sell in May. The question is… who do you believe the historical adage or the so called experts of our day? Or, is there a third option for those looking to avoid the volatile days and declines of summer by positioning some of their assets into a holding where they can take the risk of loss due to negative investment performance off the table? Using fixed or fixed index annuities as an alternative asset class is becoming more popular with people looking to mitigate the risk of potentially decreasing bond valuations based on rising interest rates and also to seek stock market protections from the current bull market possibly screeching to a halt.
Annuities may not be the right choice for everyone; but for those in or nearing retirement, they are certainly worthy of consideration. Annuities are the cornerstone of safe income options for many retirees but also offer some safe market upside growth potential to consider when evaluating whether to sell stocks in May and go away or buy annuities in May and go play!
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (MarketWatch) — Should you sell in April and go away?
It’s an odd question, I admit. Widespread talk of selling usually doesn’t begin until late April, when investors each year are reminded of the famous seasonal pattern “sell in May and go away.”
But it’s precisely because it is so well-known that some followers of this seasonal tendency wonder if they should act sooner rather than later. Waiting until May Day runs the risk of selling at the same time that a large number of other investors are doing the same.
Fortunately, we have real-world data on two attempts to get a jump start on the “sell in May and go away” pattern. The first is the “Almanac Investor Newsletter,” edited by Jeffrey Hirsch, and the other is Sy Harding’s “Street Smart Report.”
Both pursue surprisingly similar modifications to this basic seasonal pattern. Each relies on a technical indicator known as MACD to pinpoint the precise day on which they enter and exit the market. (MACD is a short-term momentum indicator, standing for moving average convergence divergence.)
The Hulbert Financial Digest has track records for both market timers’ modifications of this seasonal pattern dating to mid-2002, nearly 13 years ago. The HFD calculates their returns on the assumption that, when they are invested in stocks, they earn the return of the Wilshire 5000 Index; otherwise they are assumed to be invested in 90-day Treasury bills.
As you can see from the accompanying table, a buy-and-hold strategy since mid-2002 has produced a 7.7% annualized return. Automatically going to cash every May Day and re-entering the market on Halloween would have done slightly better with a lot less risk — which is why it comes out well ahead of buying and holding on a risk-adjusted basis (as indicated by a higher Sharpe Ratio). [Read More at MarketWatch…]