On April 24, 2014, I posted that I was jumping into the stock market again with both feet. At that time, the S&P 500 stood at 1,883.95. Today it closed at 2,187.02. That’s at 16% rise in the S&P 500, but if I take into account reinvested dividends its about a 21% gain on the mutual fund after about 2-1/2 years. Pretty good, I think. Of course, it didn’t just go straight up. I endured two huge dips, one that actually took the S&P below my initial jumping-in point! These were important learning experiences though.
So why am I getting out? Well, in all honestly, I still have a good chuck of change invested in the markets, but I believe it is a good time to take some off the table. While I think the markets could continue rising, I know full well that there will be corrections here and there bringing them down past where we are today. That last few times we started hitting all-time highs, the levels couldn’t be sustained. It just feels like a good jumping-off point. I plan to park the funds in a money market account for easy access when it’s time to get back in.
I know full well that you cannot time the markets. It just can’t be done consistently. However, I also know that markets never go straight up. I think the trick is to have discipline and set an entry point for when to get back in. Right now, I’m thinking my target is somewhere around 1,900. I don’t plan to sit there and wait for an absolute bottom. That would be trying to time the market and a recipe for never getting back in. I need to have the discipline to jump in even if it looks like the market will go down further. Wish me luck.