Investing Advice: Stay in May and June and July

Posted On July 2, 2018 11:31 am

Market gurus and TV talking heads often fall back on easy to sum up their outlook or advice; and all the better if it rhymes.  Two of the best-known bits of investing advice are to “Sell in May and go away” and to “Beware of the June swoon.”

While May and June have tripped up stocks historically, it’s interesting to note what happened when those months are positive. This happened in 2018, albeit in a muted fashion.

As LPL Research Senior Market Strategist Ryan Detrick explained, “When months that have been usually weak weren’t, that is a sign. In fact, when the S&P 500 Index has been up in both May and June, the rest of the year has been higher the past 11 times! Not to mention the full-year return has been lower only once (out of 22 times) going all the way back to 1950.”

As LPL Chart of the Day shows, returns the rest of the year and for the full year have been quite impressive when May and June closed higher.

What’s interesting to note is some the worst second half and full year performances have followed some of the strongest Mays and Junes, as highlighted by 1975 and 1987, which saw the infamous October crash.

Lastly, although we would never invest based on this, the first trading day of July has been the second-most likely day of the year to be green. In fact, this day has closed higher 72.1% of the time since 1950, with only the 21st trading session of July more likely to be green.

Interesting to note that today seems set to be a down day, which would stand out against the data set.

The upshot is that all of these market aphorisms and somewhat obscure back-tested data models should be taken with a grain of salt.

The best course of action is to always have a rational and balanced investment plan and stick with it throughout all the months and years. That’s today’s investing advice.

 Related: Why the Stock Market Isn’t Scared of a Trade War

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Steve Smith

Steve Smith have been involved in all facets of the investment industry in a variety of roles ranging from speculator, educator, manager and advisor. This has taken him from the trading floors of Chicago to hedge funds on Wall Street to the world online. From 1987 to 1996, he served as a market maker at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) and Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). From 1997 to 2007, he was a Senior Columnist and Managing Editor for TheStreet.com, handling their Option Alert and Short Report newsletters. The Option Alert was awarded the MIN “best business newsletter” in 2006. From 2009 to 2013, Smith was a Senior Columnist and Managing Editor for Minyanville’s OptionSmith newsletter, as well as a Risk Manager Consultant for New Vernon Capital LLC. Smith acted as an advisor to build models and option strategies to reduce portfolio exposure and enhance returns for the four main funds. Since 2015, he has worked for Adam Mesh Trading Group. There, he has managed Options360 and Earning 360, been co-leader of Option Academy, and contributed to The Option Specialist website.

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