Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

No, it really isn't. You're trying to time the market, which is about as reliable as gambling unless you intend to dedicate your entire life to it. The parent post is correct, recessions are opportunities to buy what you were going to buy anyway at a cheaper price and get more for your money, provided of course you don't need the money for other purposes in the near future.



Recessions are opportunities to buy... if you have cash. If you were long in the market at the peak, then you don't have any cash. If it's something you were going to "buy anyway", then you'd have already bought it... unless you were holding cash and trying to time the market. You can sell something, and buy at a discount, but only by selling something at the same discount.

I believe that's what the parent meant. At any given moment your money is somewhere: stocks, cash, bonds. You transfer from one to the other when you feel the time is right for it. In that sense every move is market timing.

That does imply that most people shouldn't move their money very often. Do some research, buy and hold, and don't worry overmuch about whether you bought near the top or the bottom. Put new money (e.g. salary) into something with low overhead, like an index fund, unless you've got good reason to think you can do better with a specific choice of stock.

If you find a bargain, buy it. But buying bargains is a matter of timing: it's only a bargain if it goes up eventually.


> You can sell something, and buy at a discount, but only by selling something at the same discount.

Most people sell labor or knowledge for 20-50 years during their lives. Pretty much continuously. So during a recession you can spend some of the money you get from your labor on stocks that are "on sale".


Except that - as we (hopefully) learned with the last recession - you're significantly more likely to be outside the "most people" category in this case, because layoffs tend to happen when companies have less money.


Unless you lose your job during said recession and struggle to find another.


Yes, if you don't have money to invest, you cannot invest. What's your point?


The point is recessions aren’t opportunities for everyone and can be extremely damaging. If you have to spend that 50c on the dollar, you’re doubly screwed. You don’t get to buy at a discount and your savings are depleted much faster - twice as fast actually.


Well, for one, if you have a solid idea that the market is going to crash, and that you're going to soon not be able to invest more, and that in fact you're going to have to draw down your investments to survive, then now is a better time to sell than later.

That's a lot of ifs, but that's precisely what we're discussing - how best to behave in different circumstances. "Always hold" isn't the best answer in all circumstances, despite what many in this thread are saying.


You're conflating things that shouldn't be conflated.

1) Your goal in investing

2) Heuristics to achieve that goal

The goal is to maximize your investments over a time, as I stated. Yes, you're absolutely right that holding is a phenomenal heuristic. But that doesn't mean it's always the correct thing to do.




Applications are open for YC Winter 2020

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: