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Economics and investment: The power of timing—and luck

A well-worn investment adage has its limits

By Andy Davis   July 2019

Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/PA Images

A well-worn investment adage counsels: “It’s not timing the market that matters, but time in the market.” The suggestion is that no one can reliably know all the right moments to buy or sell and maximise their profits. Instead, we must take the plunge and let the passage of time reverse any errors we might have made in timing our investments. 

As a piece of advice, this is helpful as far as it goes. Reading the Financial Conduct Authority’s recent paper on intergenerational differences in…

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