December 22, 2011

How Well Did I Time the Market in Hindsight?

Hindsight is 20/20.   Lets get a good look at how well I did timing the market on some of my stock trades.   The following are all trades I did in my Roth IRA account.    I created graphs using the charts on Yahoo Finance to show how my buy and sell points looked in comparison to the ups and downs of the stocks in question. 

Here is my GE stock :


I paid $20.85 for GE in November 2008 and then sold it for $16.90 in December 2010.    I lost about 19%.   If I'd waited a few months to buy and then also waited a few months to sell I would have timed it perfect.  In March of 2009 GE traded for $7.06 and in Feb 11 it was up to $21.44.    If I'd bought in March 09 and sold in Feb. 11 then I could have tripled my money.   ON the other hand I could have been unlucky to buy GE before the financial collapse and paid $41 for it in October 2007.  If I had then panicked at the bottom when it hit $7 in March 2009 and sold then I would have seen a 83% loss.

Here is the HOG :


I paid $17.45 for HOG in January 2009 and sold it for $34.90 in April 2010.    I actually did quite well on this one.   I more than doubled my money on the deal.   If I'd timed it just right I could have bought for as low as $8.42 in March 2009 and then held it to the peak of $45.91 in July 2011.   That would have been 5 times what I paid.   If I'd timed it badly I might have paid $42.80 in September 2008 and then sold at the bottom of $8.42 in March 2009.   That would have been a 80% loss.

This is how the BMY looks :

Bought in July 2009 for $19.60 and sold in December 2011 for $33.36.   I actually did quite well on this one if you look at that chart.   We'll have to see what BMY does in the coming months to know how well.   If the price keeps going up and up then maybe I sold too soon.  We'll see.  



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