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101 Powerful Stock Market Timing and Investment Timing Strategies

101 Stock Market Investment Timing Strategies and Tools101 Investment Timing Tools

We have collected 101 of the most popular and powerful market timing techniques and investing strategies you can use for investment timing and trading in the stock market.  You might want to bookmark this resource page because there is a lot of information and resources to explore.

We have organized these investment timing strategies by groups for easier reading, and at the bottom of the list we discuss some of the more credible timing strategies.  


Market Economic Data

Unemployment rate - tracking the number of new jobs created or lost is a decent indicator of the trend in economic activity.  Rising new jobs created is a bullish trend, whereas rising unemployment is a bearish trend.  More on unemployment rate investment timing.

Consumer price index - rising CPI can be a signal of strong economy in the short term, but over the long term can lead to higher interest rates and a dampening effect on the stock market. Forex currency traders also watch CPI signals to time many of their investment trades.  Here you can track CPI trends.

Yield curve - the spread between the interest rates on the ten-year treasury note and the three-month treasury bill—is a valuable forecasting tool. It is simple to use and significantly outperforms other financial and macroeconomic indicators in predicting recessions two to six quarters ahead.  More on timing your investments with yield curve analysis.

Housing starts - are an economic confidence indicator closely correlated with the economic cycle.  When housing starts are rising more people feel confident they can afford the long term cost of a home and this boosts overall economic activity levels which is generally positive for the stock market outlook.  More on using housing starts to time your stock market investments.

Consumer confidence  - rising levels of consumer confidence mean a happy consumer who is more willing to spend money and is generally a positive signal for the stock market.  More on investing using consumer confidence.

Purchasing Managers Index - is a sentiment indicator based on surveys of 4,000 purchasing managers.  A reading above 50 generally means their business segment is expanding and is a bullish signal.  More on using the PMI to time stock market investments.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - an aggregate measure of total production in an economy, it is the bellwether economic indicator tracked by many investment professionals.  Positive GDP growth in the 3 - 4% range is generally considering bullish, while 2 quarters in a row of negative GDP growth is considered an economic recession.  More on timing your investments with GDP analysis.

Business cycle - watching economic signals to determine what stage of the business cycle the economy is facing can give you an edge in positioning your investments into sectors that will perform best in that stage of the market cycle.  More on timing your investments with the business cycle.

Beige book - a report released by the Federal Reserve 8 times per year that is primarily used to make decisions on interest rate changes, the tone and language of the report often reveals bullish or bearish clues that will make the markets react.  More on using the beige book to time investments.


Stock Market Seasonality and Cycle Analysis

Sell in may and go away - this annual cycle theory postulates that the best returns in the stock market are from November to May of each year.  This theory has been debated for years but recent studies show with data going back to the 1950's show that investors practicing this simple seasonal market timing strategy can outperform the index.  Read more on sell in may and go away market timing.

Santa Clause rally - the 17 days from Dec 21st to January 7th of each year is thought to bring a surge in stock prices due to the general good feelings of people, spending and investing Christmas bonuses, with stock markets having light volume that magnify market movements.  More on Santa Claus rally timing.

The January effect - is a seasonal pattern observed in the stock market where the month of January often has a significant rally. It is theorized that the cause of the January effect is investors that have sold losing trades for tax losses at the end of the year are busy reinvesting their capital.  Read more on the seasonal market timing with the January effect.

Presidential cycle - predicts stock markets will be down or flat for the first two years of a president's term, and will rally during the last two years which is thought to be linked to the Federal Reserve lowering rates to improve the chances of the President getting re-elected.  More on presidential stock market investing.

Turn of the month - this cycle predicts that the if you invest on the last day of every month and sell on the 5th day of the next month you will have better returns that buying and holding all year.  Data seems to suggest this may give you a slight edge with the theory being most pension funds invest their new money each month during this time frame.  Read more on the turn of the month investment timing model.

Elliot wave - uses fibonacci numbers and analysis to predict major turning points in the stock market.  More on elliot wave stock market analysis.


Technical Analysis Investment Tools

The trend is your friend - determine the overall trend of an index or sector and go with it until the trend is broken.  More on trend trading strategies.

Breakouts - time your entry into a stock or index once it has broken out of a predefined trading range, often successful in catching the beginning stages of the securities next big rally.  More about timing your breakout trading.

Breakdowns - time your exit from a stock or entry into shorting it by identifying breakdowns.  More about timing breakdowns.

Momentum - stocks in motion tend to stay in motion until the trend breaks, so why not ride the highest momentum trades to maximize gains?  Here is a scan tool to help identify momentum trades.

Moving averages - calculate the average price of a stock over a period of time and graphically see the trend direction.  More on trend trading with moving averages.

Moving average crossovers - one of the most popular long-term trend signals is the 20 week and 50 week moving average crossover.  When these moving averages cross it is a technical long-term trend change signal.  More on market timing with moving averages.

Support levels - are key areas on a price chart that provide strong buying support to prevent prices from going any lower. Buying a pullback down to a key support level can be a low-risk entry point.  Learn more about timing your trades with support levels.

Resistance levels - are key areas or zones on a stock chart that experience selling pressure every time price action reaches those levels.  Selling at resistance levels can help maximize gains, or if prices finally break through these levels it can turn into a good entry point and future level of support.  More on trading resistance levels.

Trading volume - when stocks rise on increased trading volume it is generally considered a bullish signal and this is considered an accumulation phase.  Bearish signals are when stocks are in a distribution phase that have rising volume when prices are falling.  Volume changes can predict price changes so watch for changing trends in volume relative to price movement.  More on timing your investments on trading volume.

Relative Strength Comparative - possibly one of the most powerful market timing tools to actually discover what stocks or sectors are actually outperforming an index. This technical tool compares individual returns to the movement of an index to help you find out what's truly outperforming.  More on timing investments with comparative relative strength.

Gap trades - look for gap up openings and an indicator to indentify potential trades.  Read more on gap trading strategies.

Portfolio upgrading - a portfolio management process that continuously upgrades portfolio holdings into top performing stocks or sectors while at the same time reducing exposure  to prior leadership that is starting to underperform.  Here is a good tool to help with your portfolio upgrading process.

CAN SLIM - is a growth stock timing strategy analyzing a mix of fundamental and technical criteria.  More on CAN SLIM market timing.

Japanese candlesticks - used by rice traders in the 17th century this ancient charting form is still powerful. How to read candlestick patterns to time your trades.


Market Sentiment and Breadth Investing Strategies

Volatility Index (VIX) - this market volatility indicator can be helpful to time very short term trading periods. More on market timing with the VIX.

McClellan Summation Index - a popular market breadth indicator derived from the summation of advancing and declining stocks in a market, making it easier to spot market turning points. More on timing your trades with the McClellan Index.

NYSE Bullish Percentage (BPI) -  is an indicator that tracks the ratio of stocks on the NYSE that are in a bullish trend, with the BPI charted in a time series graph to see the change in trends.  More on timing your investments with the Bullish Percentage indicator.

Greed cycles - when a sector or the market continues to go up no matter what, with news reports and the public talking about this historic investment opportunity, its probably getting close to a time to sell.  This is a classic bubble formation driven by greed that will eventually pop and will be your time to take a contrarian position.  More on greed cycles.

Fear cycles - identifying a fear cycle can often be a good entry point into a stock or sector, and are often characterized with plummeting stock prices, "doom and gloom" news reports, and politicians getting involved in trying to fix something in the market.  More tools to indentify fear cycles.


Timing Investments with Fundamental Analysis

Dow theory - original stock market timing theory put forth by Charles Dow over 100 years ago still outperforms buy and hold by about 2% annually over longer time frames.  Read more on market timing using the dow theory.

Dogs of the dow - popular timing strategy where you invest in the 10 highest yielding dow stocks each year with the assumption they are at their bottom of their business cycle and will see growth in their share price ahead.  More on dogs of the dow market timing strategy.

PEG ratio - use the PE to EPS growth ratio to time the entry into high growth stocks selling on the cheap.  More on PEG ratio investment timing.

Insider trading - time your trades with people on the inside who know the most about a company.  When they put their own hard earned money into buying their own stocks it is a big bullish signal.  More on finding and timing market trades with insider signals.

Institutional ownership - time your trades into with institutional investors into individual stocks that are just being discovered by institutional investors.  Other institutional investors often follow leading to an increased demand and price for the stock.  More on institutional investors market timing abilities.

Fundamental analysis stock screener - use this detailed screener to sift stocks by important fundamental criteria.  Use fundamental analysis screening to time your trades.

Warren Buffet stock scan - screens for companies that have a monopoly position and strong pricing power, to ensure consistent profits, but where there is significant unrecognized value.  See the latest Warren Buffet scan picks.


Multiple timeframe analysis and investing strategies

Day trading - daytraders time the market all day long watching intraday charts.  More on how to time your day trading setups.

Swing trading - learn how to time entry and exits when swing trading for short term profits. More on timing a swing trade.

Multiple timeframes - often utilizing multiple time frame analysis will give you a better analysis.  Details on market timing multiple time frames.


Investment timing using stock filters and screeners.

Big growth on the cheap - scan that identifies large capitalization growth stocks trading at low valuations.  See the latest big growth for cheap scan.

Technical analysis scans - literally hundreds of different stock scans based on technical analysis.  Start timing your market trades with these scans.

Industry sectors - scan for the best and worst industry sector performance to identify your next stock market investment.

Analyst coverage - screen for analyst upgrades to help identify new trades.

ETF screener - find exchange traded funds with this market timing ETF screener from Morningstar.

Mutual fund screener - time your mutual fund investments with this screener.

Dividend yield - sort through the market with this screener to time your entry into the highest dividend yielding stocks.

New 52 week high - stocks making new highs tend to continue the trend until it reverses.  Find new 52 week high stocks.

Sector Group Leaders - easy visual analysis easily identifies sector leaders with Finvis's group sector screener.

High momentum stocks - find stocks moving up with high momentum with this momentum timing screen.

50/200 moving average crossover - find new long term trends in the market using this 50/200 moving average crossover scan tool.

Double bottom formation - a classic technical pattern indicating a trend reversal has occurred.  More on timing good entry points with double bottom formations.


Offbeat and Quirky Investment Timer Tools
Hemlines - this theory predicts that as hemline styles go shorter and shorter it is a sign of consumer confidence and good times ahead for the stock market. The rational put forward is that since a short skirt cannot be altered to reflect changing styles and seasons, women feel more confident about their economic outlook and are willing to spend money on specialized clothing.  Monitor fashion trends to start trading hemline signals.

Hot waitress index - if you see more hot waitresses chances are the market and economy is slowing down.  In good times there are plenty of opportunities in marketing, real estate, and modeling for attractive women, but as times get tough these opportunities dry up and force people into alternative lower paying jobs that good looks can still give you an edge, like waitressing.  Sign me up... its a lot easier on the eyes keeping the pulse on this index at smoking hot waitresses that trading screens for timing my investments.  

Moviegoers index - when times are tough and financially depressing people simply want to escape into the dark comfort of a movie theatre.  To gauge what part of an economic cycle we are in you can watch movie ticket sales numbers to time your investments.

Wine values - dollar value of Napa Valley wine auction has been show to have an 84% correlation to predicting the future direction of the DJIA for that year.  For wine lovers timing the market with wine sales auction index might just be your inside edge!

The BMW gauge – watch auto luxury sales.  It’s a positive economic signal when BMW dealers notice car shoppers looking for a 3 series car but end up upgrading and purchasing a more luxurious 5 series sedan.  Track monthly car sales data to help your trading positions.

Financial Astrology – look to the stars and heavens for signals that forecast future movements in the stock market.  If astrology is your game you might want to read more on astrological market timing.


software

VectorVest - $695 per year can get you access to this popular trend trading software package.  More on Vectorvest market timing software.

iQChart - $959 per year for this stock charting software. Learn more about timing the stock market with iQCharts.

WinTick - $999 per year for this internet based stock trading platform.  Details on WinTick stock market investing software.

Metastock - $2,400 per year for software and data package.  Get more info on this top of the line trend trading and market timing software.

Tradestation - $2,900 per year for software, data is an additional cost.  Read more about the number one rated rules based market trading platform.

NinjaTrader - $995 software purchase for advanced trading platform.  More on market trading with NinjaTrader.

TeleChart - $999 per year for charting and scanning software.  Read more on Worden Telechart Stock Trading Software.


Investment books

All About Market Timing by Les Masonsons.

Market Timing for Dummies by Joe Durantes.

Trading Full Circle: The Complete Underground Trader System For Timing and Profiting in All Financial Markets by Jea Yu.

Trend Trading for a Living: Learn the Skills and Gain the Confidence to Trade for a Living by Thomas K. Carr.

Unlocking Wealth: Secret to Market Timing by John Crane.

Yes, You Can Time the Market! by Ben Stein.


Financial Journal Studies

Timing is Everything: A Comparison and Evaluation of Market Timing Strategies by Chris Brooks and Caliburn Capital Partners LLP.
 
Market Timing of International Stock Markets using the Yield Spread by Bruce G. Resnick, Wake Forest University.

Market Timing & Trading Strategies Using Asset Rotation by Panagiotis Schizas,  University of Peloponnese.

Towards a New Theory on Market Timing by Vijaya B. Marisetty,  Monash University.

Optimal Market Timing by Xuenan Li,  Stephen M. Ross School of Business at University of Michigan.

Market Timing Using Exchange Traded Funds by Lewis A. Glenn.

Market-Timing Strategies That Worked by Pu Shen,  Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City - Economic Research Department.

Market Timing Can Work in the Real World by Glen A . Larsen , Jr ., and Gregory D . Wozniak, The Journal of Portfolio Management.


Sector investment timing tools

Sector Carpets - use graphical sector carpet charts to visually see what sectors are outperforming during different timeframes.  A great tool is Stockcharts sector carpet timing tool.

Tactical asset allocation (TAA) - use long term TAA strategies to overweight top performing asset classes and outperform buy and hold returns.  More on tactical asset allocation strategies.

ETF Heatmap - visually see what sector ETFs are gaining as well as dropping with the easy to read ETF heatmap at Finviz.


Commodity investing

Gold - the gold miners bullish percent index is one of the best charts you can use for market timing gold investments.

Copper - to trade copper successfully keep tabs on the housing index as house construction drives the most demand for copper.  More on timing copper investments.

Commodity fundamentals - examine the weekly government report from the US commodity futures trading commission outlining long and short positions held in each commodity.  Use the commitments of traders report for timing commodity trades based on fundamentals.

Commitment of Traders report - adjusting asset allocations in commodities can help outperform the market. More on using the COT report to time asset allocations.

Weather reports - key agricultural commodities are susceptible to bad weather and can rally significantly on bad weather reports that could limit crop supplies. Read more on market timing commodities with weather reports.

Baltic Dry Index - use this leading indicator of the cost to ship raw goods by container ship across oceans as a leading indicator of industrial demand for commodities and general economic activity.  More on investment timing with the Baltic Dry Index

Oil - read the weekly Oil Supply Data Report to see if there is an increase or decrease in supply and demand domestically.

Steel -   demand for steel is closely correlated to industrial production so timing your investment in steel should be focused on watching for signs and changes in global economic activity.  More on timing and trading steel ETFs.


Bond and Currency Trading Investments

Beating the Dow with Bonds - a lower risk timing strategy over equities using a simple bond market timing strategy.

Pimco bond timing - Pimco is the leading bond fund market and their leading fund manager uses a simple chart to time bond investments. More on the Bill Gross bond timing model.

Long term interest rates - use of long term interest rates in a timing model reveals impressive results and has outperformed buy and hold by a margin of more than 3% annually.  Read more on market timing using long term interest rates.

Short term bonds - if your focusing more on the short term you may be interested in this short term bond timing strategy.

Study on bond trading - Short-term market timing using the bond-equity yield ratio financial journal article.

Bond screener - if your looking for a specific type of bond or yield use this bond filter tool to time your investing.

Currencies - trading currency ETFs are a simpler strategy for gaining the hedging and speculating advantages of currency investing.  More on currency ETF investing.

So What's the Best Strategy?

We think a synergistic combination of strategies will give you the best market timing results over the long-term.  We have sorted and sifted through these various strategies and developed a mechanical investment timing strategy that works with any industry or sector and is focused with long term results in mind.  Following a timing strategy takes perseverance, patience and courage to ride out the inevitable tough times that will come your way, but overtime it works and can help you exceed market returns.

 

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