You're looking at a major shift in the stock market today.
It'll happen because most investors will make a decision that they think is best for their portfolios.
But it's not.
In fact, it could be the single worst mistake they'll make this entire year – and could cost them seven months of profits.
I don't want that to happen to you.
So here's how to avoid it…
Why "Selling in May and Going Away" Is the Worst Move You Can Make for Your Portfolio
There's an old saying in the markets: "sell in May and go away." It's a common phrase that you'll probably hear the financial news pundits throw around a lot over the next couple weeks. And it's based on historical data that shows the markets perform worse between May and October (and better between November and April).
Now, it is true that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has only returned 0.3% on average between the May and October time frame while returning 7.5% between November and April. And here's an idea of how just the first week of May looks, according to my proprietary tools:
That's why to investors, it doesn't seem like such a bad idea to simply sell their stocks and "go away" until November.
But in actuality, it's the worst possible mistake they can make…
Just because the Dow only returns an average 0.3% over a seven-month period doesn't mean there aren't opportunities to make money. But while these gains are relatively flat, it doesn't mean there's an overall loss in the market, either. And remember… there are easy ways for you to make money in any market environment – up, down, or sideways. For example, last week I showed you two different ways to make money off of the French presidential election.
So truthfully, when you sell in May and go away, you're setting yourself up to miss out on seven months of profits.
Instead, what you can do is balance out your bullish and bearish strategies, such as using long calls and long puts on stocks. And speaking of options… here are two more strategies you can use…
No. 1: Go Bearish on the Averages
Options are available on market indexes such as the DJIA and the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSE Arca: DIA). You can consider buying protective puts, which are simply put options that are used as a way to protect "on paper" capital losses of a stock in your portfolio. So say, for example, that you own at least 100 shares of a stock at $50. If you believe the stock will drop in price over the next seven months, then you could purchase a $50 put with an expiration in June, July, or even longer.
Let's say you purchase this put at $2.00 (or $200, since one contract equals 100 shares). You've now bought the rights to "put" this stock to the buyer at $50 (or make t…
About the Author
Tom Gentile is one of the world's foremost authorities on stock, futures and options trading.
With more than 25 years' experience trading stocks, futures, and options, Tom's style of trading systems and strategies are designed to help individual investors propel themselves past 99 percent of the trading crowd.