Introduction

Fortune Teller
Fortune Teller

P.T. Barnum is often credited with coining the phrase, "There's a sucker born every minute." History buffs argue the famed circus founder instead stated, "There's a customer born every minute." However, for investors subscribing to market-timing services, the words "sucker" and "customer" are virtually interchangeable.

Time Pickers or market timers claim the ability to predict the future movement of the stock market, moving into the market before it goes up and getting out before it goes down. However, numerous studies from industry and academic experts demonstrate market timers have no such ability to beat the market, and they should be avoided just like the lion's cage at Barnum's circus. According to Eugene Fama, "Market timing is a flimsy, dangerous occupation."1

    -1 Eugene Fama, Dimensional Financial Advisor Conference, Santa Monica, CA, July 22, 2011.
Step 4Time PickersMarket TimingEugene Fama