Novice investors are constantly told to never – never! - time the market. Just buy and hold stocks, dollar-cost averaging over time. That is good advice. I know some novice investors who have done very well through various economic cycles, buying stocks in both good and bad times – especially the bad times. They have unshakable faith that the market will always come back. If you didn’t have such faith, you wouldn’t be able to invest in this fashion.
I am a professional investor and have timed the market with some success, but not too much because it is very hard to do. But I think novice investors should attempt to time the market once or twice in their investing careers. Sacrilege, I know. I’m not talking about getting totally in or out of the market, but rather about making changes in asset allocation that have the potential to boost returns substantially over time.