The allure of quick profits and
instant gratification

In the investing world, the allure of quick profits and instant gratification often tempts some investors to employ a ‘market timing’ strategy. This method involves buying or selling investments based on predictions of future market price movements.

Market timing is an active investment strategy aiming to beat the traditional buy-and-hold strategy. It involves moving in and out of the market or switching between asset classes based on expectations for future returns.


For instance, if an investor believes that a stock’s price will rise, they may decide to buy it immediately or plan a purchase. Conversely, if they anticipate a decline in the stock’s value, they may sell it immediately or schedule a sale.

While investment specific details and financial planning can influence these decisions, the core of market timing revolves around anticipated price changes. The critical objective of market timing is to capitalise on these market predictions and generate profit. However, this strategy’s success hinges on the accuracy of these forecasts.


The track record of market timing is far from impressive. One of the primary reasons for this is the difficulty in accurately predicting market movements. Many factors influence financial markets, ranging from economic data readings to global events, making it almost impossible to make accurate predictions consistently.

Moreover, market timing requires investors to make two correct decisions: when to exit the market and when to re-enter. Making a mistake in either of these decisions can lead to significant financial loss.


In contrast to the high-risk, unpredictable nature of market timing, a less risky and more straightforward strategy is known as ‘pound cost averaging’. This technique involves investing a fixed amount regularly, regardless of the market conditions.

For instance, if you have a lump sum of £10,000 and choose to invest £1,000 a month over ten months, you would be less affected by short-term volatility. As you gradually put your money in, any share price movement has less effect on the value of your investment.


Moreover, this approach allows you to buy more shares when prices are low and fewer when prices are high, potentially leading to substantial long-term gains.

However, it’s important to note that while pound cost averaging can help mitigate some risks, it does not guarantee profits or protect against losses. Like all investment strategies, it comes with its own set of risks, and the value of your investments can fall and rise.


Investing is not about getting rich quickly; it’s about growing your wealth steadily over time. Therefore, it’s crucial to resist the temptation of market timing and instead focus on building a diversified portfolio that aligns with your financial goals and risk tolerance. To discuss any of the issues raised in this article, please contact us.

Personal circumstances differ and not all of this information is applicable to every client and/or their business, this information is general in nature and should not be relied upon without seeking specific professional financial advice.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) does not regulate tax advice, estate planning, trusts or will writing.

The content in this article is for your general information and use only and is not intended to address your particular requirements. Articles should not be relied upon in their entirety and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute, advice.

Although endeavours have been made to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No individual or company should act upon such information without receiving appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of their particular situation. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of any articles.

Thresholds, percentage rates and tax legislation may change in subsequent finance acts. Levels and bases of, and reliefs from, taxation are subject to change and their value depends on the individual circumstances of the investor. The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

Pareto Financial Planning Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).